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Pregnancy weight gain

Healthy weight gain in pregnancy

It’s not a good idea to try to lose weight whilst you are pregnant as it could harm you and your unborn child. Some diets can leave you low in energy and important vitamins and minerals.

Healthy weight gain

Remember, normal weight gain is one of the most positive signs of a healthy pregnancy. Women who eat a balanced diet are more likely to have healthy babies. So as long as you’re eating healthily, relax - you’re supposed to be getting bigger!  However, if you are obese (extremely overweight) you health is at risk and you should consult your GP.

Normal pregnancy weight gain

During pregnancy most women gain between 10 and 20 kilos. This weight includes your baby, the placenta, the extra fluid in your bloodstream, the water around your baby, your growing breasts, and some extra fat stores to protect your baby. All these changes are important for the health of your baby and the pregnancy.

Putting on too much weight isn't good for you or your baby though, and the extra kilos may be harder to shed after giving birth.

Managing your weight doesn't mean dieting or trying to lose weight. This is definitely not the time for a weight-loss diet! Managing your weight by eating well and keeping active can help you to achieve a healthier pregnancy, a safer birth and a healthier baby.

Body mass index and pregnancy

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation that health professionals use to work out whether you are a healthy weight for your height (weight (kg)/ height (m²)).

  • Less than 18.5  is considered underweight
  • 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy
  • 25 to 29.9 is considered ‘overweight’
  • Over 30 is considered ‘obese’

Why it matters

It’s especially important to manage your weight during pregnancy if you are already obese, with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of more than 30. There are important benefits.

  1. Be more comfortable: You'll be able to stay more mobile, and less likely to suffer problems with your skin, or with pelvic pain.
  2. Reduce the risk of complications: Some of the complications aggravated by excess weight are serious, including miscarriage and birth defects; gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia ; complications in labour including the need for a caesarean delivery; stillbirth and short and long-term health problems for the baby.
  3. Lose weight quicker afterwards: You'll have less weight to lose after you have had your baby.
  4. Protect your baby's health: Your child will be less likely to develop obesity during his/her life.

Janet - 8 months pregnant:

"If I'd been told that I didn't need those extra calories, that would have been a help because I honestly thought from day one you need extra calories.
My mum goes, 'Oh, go on, you're pregnant! Come on, you're eating for two!'. But I'm not. I know it is better for me and the baby to be careful about not eating too much..."

Help for you

If you feel you need help managing your weight in pregnancy make an appointment to talk to your doctor who will be able to advise you.

  • If you were attending a slimming group before you were pregnant, ask your midwife or GP whether you should continue. Responsible slimming groups promote balanced, healthy eating. They recommend choosing a variety of foods, but not eating too many fatty or sugary foods.
  • Avoid diets which cut out particular food groups, eg. low carbohydrate or dairy-free diets. This could harm both you and your baby as you will not get all the essential nutrients you need to keep healthy.
  • Never join a slimming group or put yourself on a diet without asking advice from your midwife or GP

With thanks to Tommy's

Comments

I am almost 6 months pregnant and gained about 1kg so far. My baby and bump are growing normally, but my body fat has just fallen off me! (Which is nice as my BMI is 32) I'm loving this and the fat loss has made me feel great, despite the fact that I feel like I'm eating for 6 let alone 2!! Is anyone else experiencing something similar? I hope the weight stays off once baby is here! :) x If anyone is worried about gaining too much, drinking lots of plain water helps to reduce the empty calorie and sugar intake, so you can free yourself up some calories for food instead! :D
hi everyone :) im 12 + 4 with my first baby and was just wondering how much weight other people had put on at this stage, I was just over 8.5 stone when I got pregnant and now am just over 9. Is this about right? All the books seem to be saying weight gain should be minimal in the 1st trimester so I don't know if I've put on too much! I'm sticking to quite a healthy diet, very few sweets, crisps etc but i'm very bloated...maybe its a lot of fluid (here's hoping lol) :)
i am 21 weeks pregnant and have gained 14kg. i was on slimming world for around 2 years before i got pregnant and got down to my ideal weight which is 10 stone. im not 12 stone :-( i have been over indulging and using the excuses of im eating for 2 but now i have seen the scales im going to lay of the sweets and chocolates. im hoping now i have noticed and going to change my ways that my weight will still the same. will this happen???
I'm 18 weeks and have a BMI of 40 this is my second little one and i was the exact same weight with my first as with my second i joined slimming world before i fell pregnant as i had gained more post baby weight ( i lost nearly 2 stone between my pregnancies my boy has just turned 2 and i joined in may) and it was the best thing i could have done they are amazing and as an earlier comment they work with you while you are pregnant the members of the group are really supportive and the consultants are really helpful and will offer advice out of group time if you are having a weak moment but the amount of food you can eat and still lose weight is incredible so you will never be hungry. if you have an addiction to cookbooks like i do then you will be in your element as they are all full of flavour and will satisfy any cravings you have, and you still lose weight what more can you ask for :-)
hi all, im only 5 weeks+ but with my first pregnancy (5 years ago) if i ever craved anything sweet i fought the temptation and reached for clementines or strawberries, i had orange fingers for the whole of december!! it is very tempting especially in the first couple of months when most other food seems to make you green, but just indulge every now and then like you would if you werent pregnant. Im not yet reaching for the fruit(or chocolate) but am getting through plenty of belvita biscuits and the new chocolate go-ahead ceral bars!!! xx
I am 22 weeks and already put on 2 stone. I was doing weight watchers before I got pregnant and was informed that my diet not healthy for a baby so I increased my calorie allowance from 1400 to 2000 as told to do so but I have piled on the weight.
Hi babybumps4 my BMI was just over 31 and my midwife suggested I join slimming world as it promotes healthy eating and does not restrict calories or ban food groups, I started 3 weeks ago and have lost 4.5lbs so far which is great but all in a good way as I eat a lot so I am not going hungry but they are all the right things. They have a pregnancy plan and everything is also closely monitored by your midwife so that also takes out the worry, I would highly recommend it as I have an 8mth old and am now 14 weeks pregnant so was really concerned about gaining even more after not even losing the amount I had put on with DD! Good luck :)
Hi srw1981 I've had my first midwife appointment today and I was too BMI of 34 I was so embarrassed and tried to shrug it off but can't stop thinking about it and worrying. I don't wo.t them to bring it up as I get bigger. Not sure if I should try eating more healthy n loosing some weight. I'm scared they will say I have to have special treatment. I also have to see aconaultant as I have curvature of the spine I'm worried when I get there she will talk about my weight . Any advice or woman who have had similar BMI did anything get said? Thanks s
im now 18 weeks pregnant, and had a bmi of 34 (eeeek) when i had my first booking appt with the midwife at 5 weeks..... since then ive put on 11lbs. is this too much?!
Im 31 weeks and i've put on 3 and a half stone!! Everyone i meet asks if im having twins! Think i might have to cut down on the choccys S:!
I am 8 weeks+5 and i recently got weighed etc by GP who said i have a BMI of 30 (OBESE!) recently i have bloated out around my stomach and recently prior to swelling had a BMI of 28-29 (ok i admit it overweight!) I dont think it is fair to put this pressure on now as i was trying to lose people understand the risks but i have been sensible with my diet and i dont eat for two i especially dont appreciate all these extra health professionals and tests due to my OBESE BMI as if i was -0.1 i would have a BMI of 29.9 and thus not be in obese catagory i find it all too sensitive and takes away part of the experience - no wonder expectant mums worry and get depressed and potentially develop eating disorders think once the baby is born i'll just live on one bowl of rice krispies a day i read that a model did this !?? no i dont think so!!!
Hey all i am currently 30 weeks pregnant with a girl and though out this pregnancy i have only seemed to gain 1 stone :/ but in my last pregnancy with a boy i gained 3 stone but the midwife told me she don't care how much i gain as long as the baby is growing fine
Hi all, I'm almost 28 weeks pregnant and I have already put on a whopping 3 stone. I was 8stone 3lbs at the start and I've now gone into paranoid stage that I'm getting WAY too big! I was told last week at a 4D scan that my baby weighs about 2pound 3 ozs and all looks fine but the midwife said this week that I'm growing 4cms bigger than what I should. Is this all water or do I need to start watching myseld with food? Argh! Since I have been pregnant I have been eating sugary foods which I wouldn't have dared to touch before being pregnant. I am an active person and love to walk and swim but my active job has stopped as now I am working in the office, another weight gain nightmare! Please, any advice on my next 3 months and even more weight gain!
I put on 5 stone with my first child, 2 and a half with my second and I am 18 weeks preganant with my third. So far I am 4 pounds lighter now than I was pre pregnancy due to my Weight Management in Pregnancy group x
I'm 8 weeks and 5days, just seen my midwife yesterday. she said my BMI is very low and they have to keep an extra eye on me. that got me worried and Iam also underweight. Please advise. hank you.
im 16 weeks pregnant and this is my 1st child i am abit worried because all i seem to be doing is going up and down the scales about 10 stone, i have done for about 5 years but as i have a baby growing im windering if this is normal????
I'm someone who's always been prone to weight gain, so I thought I'd really blimp out during pregnancy. In fact, I've only gained about a stone and a half, and I still weigh less than I did when I was my heaviest 4 years ago. I'm really glad I'm managing to stay healthy during my pregnancy, but with 7 weeks still to go, and even day to day exercise getting harder, I am worried I may suddenly go VERY big! Need to be careful! EJ x
i will surely stick to this advice. thanks
Ive weighed the same for as long as i can remember. At first i was woried that i hadnt gained weight. Now that i have gain a whole 1/2 stone (when i last checked ) i was worried i would pile on the pounds but once i read about how much weight baby weighs and placenta and water and the extra fat i need to breast feed it re-assured me . now the 1/2 stone just means to me i am growing my baby well. :0)
I am 32wks pregnant with twins, I normally put on 2 stone during my pregnancy, with a single baby.....I have now reached my normal full tearm weight.....with eight weeks to go, just woundering how much I will put on this time!!! Should be interesting. I think as long as people eat what they need to fill comfortably full, and have a sensible variered diet that weight gain, or loss in pregnancy should not be worried about too much, even under extreams babies have a way of taking the nutrients they need, mum will suffer long before baby does.
I am nearly 34 weeks and have hardly put any weight on i was worried at the start as every1 said i was to skiny but i am now fine with that as i no im eatin. I dont think its fair to tell people who r pregnant how much weight they should weigh. every1 is different.
Im in my 8 month now. My due date is in two months. So far Ive put on 8kg so it's seems ok. Though sometimes I do feel I havent been eating enough nutrients so I add some suplements to my diet such as Sanatogen for Mum-to-be.
For khansarah, I'm just over 4 months pregnant and 50kg. Haven't changed since getting pregnant and not worried either. My mum's pregnancy cards from the old days showed her weight at each of her appointments during pregnancy and she didn't put any on until right near the end and had 3 healthy normal size babies so don't worry! :)
the eating for two thing is stupid. you only eat for yourself. although the baby will recieve most of the vitamins and minerals he/she needs. every pregnant women knows this
I suffered from an eating disorder before I fell pregnant because of this b.m.I and weight to height ratio and think that pregnant women shouldn't be given the extra worry of am I over weight whilst they at pregnant.
I do not believe in the old eat for two thing.Although I do feel like eating more sweet things and I do eat some chocolate and other sweet stuff, eating for two will only lead to extra weight which will be of no good for baby or mother. I do not personally listen to people when they say that.
I am 4 month pregnant. Before pregnancy my weight was 48.5 kg but still i am having the same weight.Phase of morning sickness is over but still I cant not eat much.Could any body tell me is this ok?
I'm 4 and a half months pregnant, although I haven't suffered most of the major morning sickness, just the odd queasyness every now and then, i have found I cant eat as much as I could before. Yes I'm overweight and I'm certainly not eating for two as I can't. My other half was worried to start with as with Janet, you're eating for two. Now he leaves me to eat a little and often, with the occasional treat and I feel much better this way.