Gaining weight during pregnancy

Gaining weight in pregnancy after weeks. The table shows how much weight to gain

The fact that the number on the scale will change compared to the normal weight during pregnancy is something every mother-to-be must take into account. Gaining weight during pregnancy and gaining weight on the scale is completely natural and even desirable. It is certainly not always the best to compare yourself with other pregnant women, because weight gain during pregnancy is very individual and there are several factors that influence weight gain. It is important to take care above all of sufficient intake of nutrients and follow a lifestyle. Weight gain during pregnancy does not necessarily have to be on a chart. Whether you gain 8 or 15 kg during pregnancy does not matter as long as everything is fine during pregnancy. Gaining weight during pregnancy after weeks or trimesters is mainly indicative for expectant mothers.

Published: 18.05.2023
Updated: 04.12.2023

According to experts and professional literature, the ideal weight gain during pregnancy ranges from 9 to 15 kg. Some literature indicates a range of 9 to 13 kg. For many pregnant women, weight gain is a relatively important thing. Especially if until recently they were used to working on their body and maintaining an optimal weight. Weight gain can vary for each pregnant woman. It is also known to mothers of multiples who gained weight differently in each pregnancy. Gaining weight during pregnancy depends on several factors. Some women leave the maternity ward almost at their original weight, and others struggle with weight gain long after giving birth. Don't worry, postpartum extra pounds are not a disease.

How much weight to gain during pregnancy is an individual matter

No woman, even outside of pregnancy, is excited if the number on the scale has an increasing curve. However, there is no need to panic about extra kilograms during pregnancy. Gaining kilograms is completely natural, or even downright desirable. The way in which a pregnant woman gains weight is already very specific. In general, a woman should gain between 9 and 15 kg during a healthy pregnancy. When pregnant with twins, a reasonable increase in weight is around 15 to 22 kg. In general, with multiple pregnancies, not only the final weight gain differs, but also the frequency of weight gain. These data are indicative and weight gain during pregnancy is influenced by a number of factors.

Weight gain is also influenced by starting weight, BMI value, genetics, metabolic rate, eating habits, lifestyle or possible health complications - diagnoses. The ideal weight gain as well as the table values should be seen as general recommendations and deviations are completely natural.

It is important to understand that weight gain during pregnancy does not depend only on whether a woman has a higher calorie intake. So it is not specifically about fat reserves, which to a certain extent always increase in women. Hormonal and biological changes take place in her body, the fetus develops, grows, the body retains water, amniotic fluid is formed, the volume of blood and retained amount of water increases, and breasts grow. Only these developmental processes related to the baby have their "weight". Approximately what part of the birth weight do the individual components make up?

  • Baby = 2.7 – 3.6 kg
  • Amniotic fluid = 0.8 – 1 kg
  • Placenta = 0.5-1.5 kg
  • Uterus = 0.9 – 2 kg
  • Blood = 1.2-2 kg
  • Breasts and mammary glands = 0.4 – 1.2 kg
  • Fat reserves = 2.5 – 5.5 kg
  • Other body fluids = 0.9 – 2.5 kg

How much weight to gain during pregnancy

Gaining weight in pregnancy after weeks

It is absolutely ideal if weight gain during pregnancy is smooth and even. Expectant mothers are most interested in the total weight gain, but some are mainly interested in how their weight should increase during pregnancy. Again and again, it's individual and every pregnancy is different. The fetus itself, genetics and the female metabolism, each works slightly differently, which means that some women gain the necessary number of kilograms, do not experience nausea and their appetites do not change significantly. Other women gain more weight because of the change, their tastes change and they also suffer from morning sickness at the beginning.

However, there should be certain increases in weight in individual periods. They can indicate that everything is fine in pregnancy. Table values always have only an indicative value. If your weight begins to decrease or increase more significantly at some stage of pregnancy, or if it stagnates for a longer period of time, contact your attending physician immediately.

Gaining weight during pregnancy - 1st to 13th week

This is basically the first trimester of pregnancy and it is normal if the weight on the scale increases very slowly. In some cases, you will notice that only hundreds of grams are added. BMI also decides a lot in the case of weight gain at the beginning. As a rule, thinner women observe weight increases even in individual weeks of the first trimester. On the contrary, overweight or obese women start gaining weight only after the 14th-16th week of pregnancy. However, it is not a rule. Slowed weight gain can also be caused by morning sickness. Therefore, it happens that some women can even lose a little weight.

Gaining weight during pregnancy - 1st to 13th week

Gaining weight during pregnancy - 14th to 27th week

In the second trimester, weight gain is expected to increase. Again, however, the exception proves the rule, and women who gained weight between 10 and 13 weeks may continue to gain weight until the end of the second trimester, i.e. between 23 and 27 weeks. It is assumed that, based on the gravidogram, a woman will gain 5 to 8 kg at a normal starting weight.

Gaining weight during pregnancy - 28 to 40 weeks

During these weeks, it is common for a pregnant woman to feel that she is not gaining much weight. It doesn't have to be a problem. Moms who gained weight in the previous weeks will gain weight more slowly and relatively smoothly in the 3rd trimester. For those women whose weight gain was slower in the 2nd trimester (weeks 14-27), it is normal to gain more weight during these weeks. Tables say that in this phase, a pregnant woman can gain another 4 to 7 kg.

Weight gain during pregnancy according to trimesters - months

If we look at weight gain during pregnancy from a wider time frame, we can talk about weight gain according to trimesters or individual months. You can also see in the table above that weight gain in the first weeks of pregnancy is expected to be lower. The greatest weight gain in most women occurs during the 2nd trimester, i.e. between the 3rd and 6th months. This also results in the fact that the body retains water more significantly. In the 3rd trimester, as a rule, the increase in weight continues and the child accumulates the most fat.

First trimester

During the first trimester, weight gain is often very moderate. The reason is that the fetus is going through its first changes, the uterus is getting bigger and the woman's body is getting used to hormonal changes. Some women gain almost nothing or only a few hundred grams in the first trimester, i.e. the 1st-3rd months. A weight gain of 1 to 2 kg is normally expected in the first trimester. Nausea or loss of appetite can also be the reasons for not gaining weight. In some cases, the weight can even decrease. It is advisable to consult a gynecologist about the condition in order to avoid possible malnutrition of the fetus.

Second trimester

The most significant weight gain is expected in the second trimester of pregnancy. Energy expenditure increases and, naturally, calorie intake must also be higher. At the same time, the size of the baby also increases. The usually unpleasant symptoms of nausea and loss of appetite subside and an increased appetite begins. During the 4th month, an increase in weight of 1-2.5 kg is expected, in the 5th month by 1.5 kg and in the 6th month by approximately 2 kg. Overall, in the second trimester, at the end of the 6th month, a woman can expect a weight gain of 5 to 8 kg, which is roughly 50 to 60% of the total weight gain during pregnancy.

Gaining weight during pregnancy - second trimester

Third trimester

In the third trimester, which is the 7th to 9th month, the future mother is expected to gain another 4 to 7 kg in weight. During this period, the baby builds up its thermoregulation, therefore it gains fat reserves. The dimensions of the fetus are very individual, week after week the weight increases and the child also grows in centimeters. In the 7th month, 2 kg will be added, in the 8th and 9th months, an increase of 1.5 kg is expected. However, it can be more or less. In some cases, it happens that the weight stays at a stable level for a relatively long time and then increases after larger additions in the last month or vice versa.

BMI index and weight gain during pregnancy

The calculation of BMI (Body Mass Index) refers to the starting weight at which a woman starts during pregnancy. Again, this is only an indicative metric that should approximately show what weight gain should be optimal for a given starting weight. According to the BMI calculation, you can easily find out whether you are in the category of underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese women. A simple calculation works to determine BMI. Divide your weight in kilograms twice by your height in meters. So if you weigh 56 kg and you are 160 cm tall, the calculation will be as follows : 56 : (1.60 x 1.60) = 21.9 BMI (normal weight). For twins, the recommended weight gain is higher.

Small and significant weight gain during pregnancy

If you are happy that the weight gain is very small in your case, you should pay attention. Although it does not have to be a complication, it is advisable to consult a doctor about slow weight gain. Above all, if there is no weight gain from the second trimester. Even slender pregnant women gave birth to a healthy child.

For example, if your BMI is in the overweight or obese category and weight gain on the scale is very gradual or slower, this phenomenon is often completely fine. Many women deal with how to slow down weight gain during pregnancy, which should not be a topic by any chance. Too slow weight gain is a risk for premature birth, because the fetus may not be sufficiently developed. The baby may be born with a low birth weight and there may be certain complications. Some research indicates that if the expectant mother gains more or significantly less weight than is recommended, there is a higher risk of obesity in the child.

If the increase in weight is more than 20 kg (in the optimal case), such a high increase in weight can cause certain health complications for a pregnant woman - problematic movement, increased blood pressure, gestational diabetes, back and joint pain, formation of stretch marks and varicose veins, shortness of breath and other. If the weight gain is too significant, there is also a risk of the aforementioned obesity in the child. A large fetus - a baby - also often means a more complicated birth, and sometimes it is necessary to give birth by section - caesarean section.

Multiple pregnancy and weight gain

Of course, more children, greater birth weight. However, it does not have to increase by multiples, As with a standard pregnancy, weight gain is always individual. For twins, an optimal increase in weight of 15 to 22 kg is expected, for triplets it can be 20 to 23 kg, and for quadruplets from 21 to 31 kg. It also remains valid that, depending on the starting weight (BMI), the optimal weight gains in individual weeks or months differ. In the case of a multiple pregnancy, it is even more important from the gynecologist's point of view to monitor the frequency of weight gain. When expecting two or more children, it is enormously important that there is a steady increase in weight, because there is a higher risk of premature birth. Practice confirms that higher birth weight in some cases reduces the risk of newborn death.

Multiple pregnancy and weight gain

Eating during pregnancy

The alpha and omega of proper nutrition during pregnancy is that the diet is high-quality, rich and balanced. After all, the intake of calories and nutrients has a significant impact on the number of kilograms you gain during pregnancy. The diet must contain all the necessary nutrients. If you are interested in how not to gain weight during pregnancy, forget about reduction diets for pregnant women or special instant meals prepared in a shaker. If you have previous experience with pregnancy, how much you gained in pregnancy before is not authoritative and with the second child the weight gain may be completely different. What principles should be followed so that weight gain during pregnancy is adequate in terms of diet ?

  • Try to eat a varied diet , find out what suits you and what hinders you,
  • include the intake of suitable vegetables and fruits in your diet - replace sweets with fruits,
  • follow the drinking regime, at least 2-3 liters a day,
  • try to limit sugary drinks,
  • eat in smaller portions and more often, 5 to 7 times a day,
  • it is good to limit smoked, salted, spicy, fried and fatty foods (from time to time they are not a problem),
  • caffeine intake must be limited, max. 1-2 cups of weak coffee per day, also pay attention to the content of caffeine (theine) in teas,
  • don't overeat, it's not necessary to eat for two,
  • avoid diets and starvation,
  • treat yourself to movement, exercise and walks,
  • smoking is strictly prohibited.

Caloric intake should increase at the beginning of pregnancy (1st trimester) by approximately 10% - 100 kcal compared to the calorie intake that the woman had before pregnancy (approx. 1,500 - 1,800 kcal). Gradually, it is advisable to increase caloric intake by 10% even in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters (1st trimester 2,000-2,200 kcal / 2nd trimester 2,400-2,600 kcal). The energy expenditure is gradually increasing. It is not necessary to start overeating in order for the body to receive nutrients. The body can only take in a certain amount, the rest is eliminated. Don't forget vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and, for example, folic acid , which can play an important role in fetal development. It is advisable to increase the intake of folic acid and vitamins even before becoming pregnant.

Gaining weight during pregnancy - experience

Women's experiences with weight gain are very diverse in discussions. Most often, women refer to the fact that gaining weight during pregnancy is very individual and depends not only on the weight at the beginning of pregnancy, but also on the size of the baby and eating habits. Women are advised not to compare themselves. Many also recommend "not to eat for two". There are also different cases in which phase of pregnancy women gained the most weight. For some, the onset of increasing weight was rapid. In some cases, weight gain was uniform and more kilograms were added only in the third trimester of pregnancy.

The most frequent questions - FAQ

Is pregnancy weight gain an issue for you? Do you want to know what awaits you or what should be the approximate value that you will gain during pregnancy? We believe that you have read everything important in our article. We will be very happy if you write to us about your personal experiences with weight gain during pregnancy, as these are very individual cases. If you have questions or interesting recommendations, join the discussion below the article, where you can comment.

Growing weight during pregnancy is completely normal and trying not to gain weight is not appropriate. Diets and hunger strikes are not suitable and pose a risk to the baby and the woman's body. It is important to eat regularly in smaller portions. Try to avoid situations where you will starve and eat large amounts of food in bursts. It is not necessary to eat for two, it is advisable to increase the intake of calories, but adequately, so that there is no excess fat storage in the body. Bet on lean meat and fish. It is necessary to increase the supply of minerals and vitamins. Skip sugary drinks, indulge in adequate exercise and follow a drinking regime.

There is no universal metric that would determine exactly how many kilograms a woman should gain during pregnancy. These are very individual values. In general, a woman should gain 9 to 15 kg during a healthy pregnancy. In the case of pregnancy with twins, a normal weight gain is 15 to 20 kg.

You can slow down weight gain during pregnancy by changing your lifestyle and eating habits. You should know what not to eat during pregnancy and, conversely, which foods are beneficial for you. Definitely don't overeat, don't eat for two, avoid heavy and fatty foods, replace sweets with fruit, don't drink flavored sugary drinks and limit fried foods. Follow the drinking regime, exercise and eat regularly in smaller portions.

The pregnancy weight gain calculator in most cases is based on the calculation of the BMI value. The calculation is very simple. It is enough to divide your weight in kilograms (e.g. 56 kg) before pregnancy by twice your body height in meters (e.g. 160 cm - 1.6 m). The calculation will be as follows: 56 : (1.60x1.60)= 21.9 BMI

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