Pregnant woman sitting on couch
Pregnant woman sitting on couch

Pregnancy Weight Gain

Many women gain weight during pregnancy, don’t worry if you suddenly weigh more than you usually do. Learn about how it comes about and how much extra weight is considered ideal.

"Not too much and not too little" is the motto when it comes to weight gain during pregnancy. The ideal weight gain is based on how much you weighed at the beginning.

The rule of thumb: depending on your starting weight, you will probably weigh between 10 and 18 kilograms more by the end of your pregnancy (week 40). Weight gain under 7 kilograms is considered too little and may put the growth of unborn baby at risk.

Optimal weight gain and its importance for your child

Did you know that your weight gain during pregnancy affects your baby's weight at the time of birth? And this plays an important role in the long-term health of your child through to adulthood.

Optimal weight gain is not only important for you — it's also important for your baby.

The recommended average amount of weight gained during pregnancy is around 12 kilograms according to gynecologists Roughly half of this weight is attributed to the baby, amniotic fluid and the placenta. The rest is made up of lymphatic fluid, an increase in blood volume and breast tissue, as well as adipose tissue. Your doctor will weigh you at the beginning of your pregnancy and regularly check your weight until your baby is born. This information will be recorded in your maternity log.  And they will talk to you if there are any noticeable changes.

How is my extra weight distributed?

Baby: approx. 3.50 kilograms

Uterus: approx. 1.00 kilograms

Placenta: approx. 0.75 kilograms

Amniotic fluid: approx. 1.30 kilograms

Breast tissue: approx. 0.60 kilograms

Blood volume: approx. 1.15 kilograms

Lymph: approx. 2.00 kilograms

Adipose tissue: approx. 1.70 kilograms

Total weight gain: approx. 12 kilograms

Don't worry about gaining weight

How much will I gain? Will I lose the weight after my pregnancy? Many women have concerns about gaining weight during pregnancy. But there's no need to worry — weight gain is entirely normal and is the simplest defining characteristic of your pregnancy. Your body is changing to meet the needs of your baby. Be proud of your curves!

Average weight gain during pregnancy

You will put on an increasing amount of weight as your pregnancy progresses.

Week 1 - 16: approx. 2 kilograms

Week 17 - 22: approx. 2 kilograms

Week 23 - 26: approx. 2 kilograms

Week 27 +: approx. 500 grams per week

This information is only intended as an orientation because the weight gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. So don’t worry if it is more or less than the given figures.

Being over or underweight in pregnancy

Being over or underweight during pregnancy may present a risk to you and your baby.

Risks associated with being overweight include increased blood pressure and "pregnancy diabetes" (gestation diabetes). This form of diabetes is usually temporary and can affect women within normal weight ranges. However, it occurs three times as frequently in women who are overweight. Pregnancy diabetes can have a negative impact on your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Being overweight during pregnancy can also increase the risk of your child being overweight or developing diabetes in the future.

Being underweight during pregnancy can also put you at risk of complications, such as premature birth, and can cause developmental disabilities in your baby. If you were underweight prior to pregnancy, it is important that you eat a balanced and nutritious diet during your pregnancy.

If you are over- or underweight during your pregnancy, please avoid self-imposed diets and other measures intended to return you to your "normal weight". Doing this could have serious consequences for your baby! Please talk to your doctor if you are over- or underweight. Here you can find out why a balanced and nutritious diet matters during pregnancy.

Keeping an eye on your weight

Be sure to weigh yourself once a week — It's best to do this in a consistent manner, e.g. always on the same weekday before breakfast. Don't worry if the scale continues to go up.

Your body mass index (BMI) is another good way to keep track of your weight. BMI is calculated using your starting weight and height (kg:cm) and there are free BMI calculators available online can help you define your BMI at the start of your pregnancy. If you are unsure about your weight or eating habits, please talk to your doctor.

What is the optimal weight gain for your BMI?

BMI Approximate Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Under 18.5 between 12 and 18 kg
Between 18.5 and 24.9 between 11 and 15kg
Between 25 and 29.9 between 6 and 11 kg
Over 30 between 5 and 9 kg

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