Pregnancy Weight Gain

Pregnancy weight gain continues to be a hot topic that I receive questions about regularly from pregnant clients and/or visitors to my site. First, an update on my own pregnancy weight gain, and then some answers to my most commonly asked questions.

27 weeks pregnant with Emma (left) and Baby Boy (right). Can you tell a difference?

27 weeks pregnant with Emma (left) and Baby Boy (right). Can you tell a difference?

I am nearly 27 weeks pregnant with Baby Boy, and I have gained roughly 16.5 lbs. I am right on track to gain a healthy 25 lbs this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Emma, my pregnancy weight gain capped off at 28 lbs, however, I was slightly under-weight prior to conceiving Emma, so I had a little ground to make up in the first trimester.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding pregnancy weight gain:

Q: If I lose weight in the first trimester because of nausea and sickness, should I track my pregnancy weight gain from the lowest weight I was during pregnancy, or the weight  I started at pre-pregnancy?

  • A: I would track pregnancy weight gain from your starting weight prior to pregnancy.

Q: What if I am not gaining 1 lb per week like my doctor recommends? (more or less)

  • A: The 1 lb per week pregnancy weight gain rule of thumb is too generic, and misunderstood. Technically, 1 lb per week would put you at a 40 lb weight gain, which in most cases, is too much. Some weeks you will gain more than 1 lb (especially in the second trimester), and some weeks you will gain less. I tend to gain 3-5 lbs in the first trimester, around one pound per week in the second trimester (give or take 1 lb), and then level off in the third only gaining a few lbs.

Q: How to I prevent excess pregnancy weight gain?

  • A: Eat healthy and exercise regularly. If you are maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, and a fit pregnancy, your body will take care of the rest. Don’t stress over pregnancy weight gain if you are sure that you are living healthy and doing what is best for your body and your baby.

Q: Can I safely lose weight during pregnancy?

  • A: I get this question from women who got pregnant prior to committing to a healthy lifestyle. I always wish that I was able to train these women before they started trying to get pregnant, because the absolute best time to get fit and commit to a healthy diet is pre-pregnancy. NO, do not try to lose weight during pregnancy. However, if you are overweight or obese prior to pregnancy, you will likely gain less weight during pregnancy versus an average or underweight woman if you are eating healthy and exercising (closer to 18-25 versus 25-40).

Do you have any questions of your own about pregnancy weight gain? If so, fill out the form below.

11 thoughts on “Pregnancy Weight Gain

  1. Kristie says:

    Thanks for this, Amanda! I never owned a scale before getting pregnant and didn’t buy one once I became pregnant because of your advice. I will admit, ballooning between doctor’s visits is a fear of mine, but I trust that if I listen to my body, it will gain the weight necessary to sustain the little life growing inside of me. And I think the fear of weight gain would only escalate if I weighed myself everyday! And it’s funny that so many doctors say 1lb per week. My practice recommends 1/2lb per week, which seems to be too little!

    • Amanda Tress says:

      Great perspective Kristie! Wow, that is interesting that your practice recommends 1/2 lb per week. I think any recommendation is too generic since every woman is different. Some weeks I gain 2 lbs, others I don’t gain any. But if you’re committed to a healthy lifestyle, your body will take care of the rest 🙂

  2. Marianna Honeybill says:

    Thanks Amanda for your blog. I’m a little concerned. I haven’t put on much weight at all. Did lose almost 2kgs in the first trimester, but my back a my pre pregnancy weight and hadn’t really almost 19 weeks. Should i Be worried? I do exercise 5 days a week and I do have a baby bump but haven’t put on weight according to the scales.

    • Amanda Tress says:

      Hey girl! Good question. What did your doctor say about your weight gain at your last visit? Are you eating a good amount of nutrients and calories? You are certainly the exception to the rule since most women have gained several pounds by 19 weeks, but you should only be concerned if your doctor seems worried. Even those of us who are fairly lean have some fat stores. It would certainly be worth a call to your physician if you are concerned … hopefully he or she can ease your mind 🙂

  3. Kayla Hoffman says:

    I just had my 30 week appt and I have gained 15 lbs. I was a little concerned but my Doc made a very good point. She told me that I was concerned because everyone was saying I was too small and should be gaining more based on “their” pregnancy experience. She assured me that the baby is growing and that being pregnant doesn’t equal blowing up like a balloon.

    Thankfully, being fit pre-pregnancy has allowed me to have little to no symptoms/side effects that are typically uncomfortable during pregnancy. That’s right…NO CRAVINGS! I feel more confident about having the oomph for labor and losing the weight after having my daughter.

    My doctor also mentioned that the average “healthy” weight gain is currently 25-30 lbs but soon that number is going to be changed to 20-25 lbs since a healthy baby can still grow without the mom having excess weight gain. We are right on track!

    • Amanda Tress says:

      LOVE this Kayla! And wow, it sounds like you have a fabulous doctor! I actually switched doctors because I wanted someone who held a healthy perspective on a fit pregnancy. Now I am with a great OB and couldn’t be happier 🙂 Yes, I agree — we are right on track! So interesting that the recommended weight gain will be changed to 20-25! I think a couple decades ago it was lower as well — maybe even 15-20! Keep it up girl. So glad to hear you are feeling good. Best wishes in these last several weeks 🙂

    • Kristie says:

      I spoke with an older woman at my church (probably in her late sixties) who said when she was having babies they recommended no more than 10lb weight gain! I couldn’t believe it!

      • Kayla Hoffman says:

        Wow! I could see why that made sense back then…. less processed foods and people were so much more active. I think half the battle now is trying to eat healthy when everything around you is filled with hormones and other additives.

  4. Tresor says:

    Awww I have it too I know how hard it is. Dont let yourself get drseesped and feel bad, that would only make you gain more weight and you’ll hurt your body with all the negative emotions. Instead, channel that frustration, that negative energy into exercising. Make exercising a habit everyday. You don’t have to do anything strenuous, just as simple as walking for 30mins everyday and increase as you get better. Also eat well, lots of greens and colorful foods. Take care of that body!

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