Healthy Weight Gain
Many women are concerned about weight gain during pregnancy. They fear they will gain too much weight and never return to their pre-pregnancy size.
Weight gain is normal during pregnancy, and it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. The extra weight provides nourishment to the baby and some of it is stored for breastfeeding after the baby is born.
Women gain an average of 25-35 pounds during pregnancy.
It’s normal to gain less weight if you start out heavier or to gain more weight of you were underweight before pregnancy.
Below are the general guidelines.
Table 1. Institute of Medicine Weight Gain Recommendations for Pregnancy
Body Mass Index*
Total Weight (lb)
Less than 18.5
(includes all classes)
30 and greater
*Body mass index is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared or as weight in pounds multiplied by 703 divided by height in inches.
†Calculations assume a 1.1–4.4 lb weight gain in the first trimester.
Modified from Institute of Medicine (US). Weight gain during pregnancy: reexamining the guidelines. Washington, DC. National Academies Press; 2009 ©2009 National Academy of Sciences.