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Putting On Weight During Pregnancy

Putting on weight during pregnancy

The important thing during pregnancy is to find a balance between putting on enough weight for a healthy pregnancy and putting on more weight than you need. There are healthy weight levels, depending on how much you weighed at the start – but going over these may put you at risk of certain health problems.

How much pregnancy weight should I put on?

How much weight you should gain during pregnancy is a subject that even the experts argue about amongst themselves. In general, you can work it out best from your height, weight and body frame. Your doctor will probably take these measurements and tell you your Body Mass Index (BMI) which is a helpful guide. 

It's great to aim for a steady, gradual pregnancy weight gain but everyone has a different pattern so don't worry if you gain more one week and a bit less the next – nobody is the same! 

BMI Approximate weight you should aim to gain during pregnancy

20 or less            Between 12.5 and 18kg (or 28 - 40lb)

20 - 26                 Between 11.5 and 16kg (or 25 - 35lb)

26 or above        Between 7 and 11.5kg (or 15 – 25lb)


It's recommended that if you're under 20 years old, it's good to aim for a pregnancy weight gain at the top end of the range for someone with your pre-pregnancy BMI.

What makes up the pregnancy weight?

No – it's not all the water you'll have to drink! This BMI table shows just how much your baby weighs compared to the rest of their little world inside you. 

Is it safe to lose weight during pregnancy?

In a word – no. It's true that being overweight may increase your risk of complications, including high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and premature birth, but it's never wise to consider weight loss as an option during pregnancy. Sorting out your weight before you get pregnant is a good thing to do but dieting once you get pregnant could only reduce your baby's birth weight and put them at risk. If you miss vital nutrients, you'll be denying them a healthy and happy start in life. 

Ask your doctor about a healthy, nourishing diet that includes all the food groups and essentials, whilst not piling on any extra pounds that you don't really need.

Being underweight during pregnancy

Being underweight can also cause problems during pregnancy so if you fall into this camp, you should also try and get up to a healthy weight before you conceive. Or, if you are already pregnant, speak to your doctor about a healthy diet that will help you achieve a healthy pregnancy weight gain.