Healthy Weight Gain

Pregnancy is the only phase in your life where increase in your weight will bring a wide smile on your face. Every mum-to-be is different and will gain a different amount of weight during pregnancy, however, there are pregnancy weight gain guidelines to help you know how much weight you should put on during the period of pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a wonderful stage of life for any woman. You are nuturing a new life inside you and also experiencing different kinds of emotions.

There will be questions in your mind bombarding every now and then – “Am I eating healthy?”, “Should I start eating for
two” etc. Always remember one thing “You are a proud pregnant woman and not a patient” . Just enjoy this phase and follow your doctor’s guidance throughout the period of pregnancy.

What you choose to eat and drink during pregnancy will have a huge effect on your baby before they’re born and will have a lifelong effect on their health.

In fact, many common diseases affecting adults can be linked back to nutrition in the womb. Hence, good nutrition will ensure your baby’s physical & mental development, which will protect your baby from heart diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes when he/she grows up.

Fast facts

Gaining too little weight can lead to:

  • Increase in the risk of having a low birth weight baby(<2.5kg)

Gaining too much weight can lead to:

  • Backaches and varicose veins and, possibly, health complications such as Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) and Pregnancy – Induced Hypertension (PIH). This may also result in complications during delivery.
  • An increased risk of having a large baby, who may become obese later in life.

In general, your total weight gain during pregnancy depends on:

  • Your pre-pregnancy body weight and
  • The number of baby/babies you are expecting

Did You Know?

Trying to lose weight during pregnancy is not recommended and can put your baby at risk. Always remember – healthy weight gain supports a healthy pregnancy

Use the Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine your pre-pregnancy body weight status.

BMI =

BMI Weight (kg)

Height (m) x Height (m)

BMI* (kg/m2)  
< 18.0 Underweight
18.0 – 22.9 Normal Body weight
23.0 – 24.9 Overweight
25.0 and above Obese

*Misra et al. Consensus dietary guidelines for healthy living and prevention of obesity, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and related disorders in Asian Indians. Diabetes TechnolTher. 2011 Jun;13(6):683-94.

What is the right weight gain?

  • Slow weight gain in the first trimester (1 to 3 kg)
  • Picks up momentum in the second and third trimester (0.5 kg each week, or 0.7 kg a week if you’re expecting twins)

Recommended weight gain chart during pregnancy#

Your Pre-pregnancy Body Weight
Status + No. of Babies
Recommended
Weight Gain (kg)
At your healthy weight + single baby 11-16
Underweight + single baby 13-18
Overweight + single baby 7-11
Obese + single baby 5-9
At your healthy body weight + twins 17-24.5
Overweight + twins 14-23
Obese + twins 11-19

#Guidelines issued by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) in May 2009