However it can be hard to know what ‘normal’ pregnancy weight gain should be, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. We asked clinical nurse and parent education coordinator at St John of God Subiaco Hospital, Christine Jones, to explain what healthy weight gain looks like during pregnancy.
How much is too much?
This depends on how much you weighed before you became pregnant. The table below shows a rough guide of what you should expect:
- Underweight (BMI <18.5): 12.5-18kgs (equivalent to half a kilo a week)
- Normal weight (BMI 18.5 – 24.9): 11.5 – 16 kgs (equivalent to 0.4kgs a week)
- Overweight (BMI 25 – 29.9 kgs): 7-11.5 kgs (equivalent to 0.28kgs a week)
- Obese (BMI >30): 5-9kgs (equivalent to 0.22 kgs a week)
Most foetal development takes place in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy and this is when you should expect the majority of the weight gain to happen.
Why do I gain weight during pregnancy?
You gain weight for a variety of reasons during pregnancy:
- Five to six kilos is your baby, their placenta and amniotic fluid.
- Four to five kilos is an increase in breast tissue, fluid, blood and uterus
- Two to three kilos is increased maternal fat reserves
These values are averages and depend on your weight before pregnancy.
Who should I go to if I am concerned about my weight gain?
Your general practitioner (GP), obstetrician or midwife are the best people to speak to if you are concerned about your pregnancy weight gain.
What are your tips for eating well while pregnant?
Pregnancy is a time when women should review their diet and reduce or remove unhealthy choices. It is not a time to overindulge on treats as that can increase your risk of gestational diabetes.
Snacking on healthy options such as a wholegrain sandwich loaded with salad can help satisfy cravings. Also carrying healthy snacks in your bag such as carrot/celery sticks and nuts is also a good option. Healthy eating during pregnancy means a healthier you during and after birth.
About the author
Christine Jones is a clinical nurse/midwife and the parent education coordinator at St John of God Subiaco Hospital. She is passionate about women’s health and helping mothers through pregnancy. Chris has 40 years’ experience as a clinical nurse and midwife and has been working at St John of God Subiaco Hospital for more than 48 years.