Weight gain guidelines for pregnancy

Weight gain guidelines for pregnancy

Today's Courier Mail reported that three out of four women do not gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy, putting mothers and babies' health at risk.

According to the world's largest health review, almost half of the 1.3 million pregnant women studied put on too much weight, which increased the risk of having a larger baby and requiring a caesarean birth. However, almost a quarter did not gain enough, raising the chance of having a baby that was too small. 

Here’s our guide to maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. 

How much weight should I gain if I am a healthy weight?

As a general guideline, you can expect to gain between 11½ and 16 kg during pregnancy. Aim to gain about 400 g a week after your first trimester.

How much weight should I gain if I am underweight?

Women who are underweight before they become pregnancy need to put on a little more weight in pregnancy. Aim for an average of 500 g a week in the last two trimesters.

How much weight should I gain if I am above the healthy weight range?

Now is not the time to try to lose weight. Going on a weight loss diet may harm your baby's development. Aim for no more than 300 g per week in the second and third trimesters.

Using the Mater Personalised Pregnancy Weight Tracker to guide your week to week gain takes the guess work out of healthy pregnancy weight gain. You will get this at your first antenatal visit appointment. All women will find out their personal recommended weight gain range during their pregnancy and we will assist you in meeting this goal with lifestyle changes tailored to your personal preferences.

How much weight should I gain?

The weight you should aim to gain depends on what your weight was before you became pregnant. Body mass index (BMI) is the number used to work out what is the recommended amount for you. You can work this out by following the steps below.

  1. My pre-pregnancy weight: ________ kg
  2. My height: ___________ m (e.g. 165 cm is 1.65 m)
  3. BMI = weight/(height x height) = ____kg/m²
If your pre-pregnancy BMI was You should gain
Less than 18.5 kg/m² 12.5 kg to 18 kg
18.5 to 24.9 kg/m² 11.5 kg to 16 kg
25 to 29.9 kg/m² 7 kg to 11.5 kg
Above 30 kg/m² 5 kg to 9 kg

Further information

For further information or to make a booking for our pregnancy nutrition classes please phone Allied Health reception on 07 3163 8585.

For more information on eating healthy during pregnancy see our practical guide. 

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