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Weight gain during pregnancy

Questions from pregnant women

How much weight should you gain during your pregnancy?

Pregnancy is often accompanied by an endless series of questions, one of the most popular of these questions is: “How does pregnancy affect my daily diet?”

There are those pregnant women who are dreading gaining pregnancy weight and then there are others who are out of this world excited at the prospect of being able to eat for two. However, when it comes to gaining the right amount of pregnancy weight you must be very careful as you need to ensure you don’t gain too much or too little or you could be putting both you and your baby’s health at risk.

Don’t worry though, because this is very easy to do and we’re going to help you with a few useful hints and tips.

Firstly, you’re not literally eating for two so DON’T double your daily calorie intake. In fact, between 100 and 300 extra calories each day will be more than enough. Unless of course you’re carrying twins, in which case you will need to eat between 3000 and 3500 calories each day. We recommend talking to your healthcare provider for more specific dietary information if you are carrying multiples.

Secondly, during the first trimester of your pregnancy you should only gain between 2 and 4 pounds (0.9-1.8 kg.), this also applies to pregnant women carrying twins. Afterwards, during each week of trimester 2 and trimester 3, you should steadily gain an extra pound each week (1/2 kg/week). If you are carrying twins, then you should be gaining an extra pound and a half each week(0.68 kg/week). This weight gain is particularly important if you are carrying twins, because twins tend to arrive a couple of weeks before their actual due date.

Scale for keeping track of pregnancy weight gain

How much weight have you gained?

Overall, during the average pregnancy, this weight gain should add up to a total of 25-35 pounds (11.35-15.9 kg.) throughout your entire pregnancy. However, if you are underweight at the beginning of your pregnancy you should gain a few more pounds, an overall total of 28-40 lbs. (12.7-18.2 kg.) during your pregnancy. And if you are overweight when you conceive, you will only need to gain an overall total of 15-25 lbs. (6.8-11.35 kg.)during your pregnancy. Your doctor will probably let you know your weight classification during your first prenatal visit, if he hasn’t then you are probably at an average weight, but we recommend asking to double-check.

Finally, do not try to lose weight or go on a crash diet during your pregnancy. If your doctor thinks your weight will put your pregnancy at risk, he or she should recommend a nutritionist to help you create a personalised pregnancy diet that will ensure you and your baby are getting the right vitamins and nutrients for your pregnancy.

More information on your pregnancy diet