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Don’t STRESS Over Pregnancy Weight Gain

May 15, 2013 No Comments

Yes, you will gain weight during pregnancy.   It’s perfectly natural, healthy, and expected!  Instead of stressing, focus on a few healthy weight gain guidelines so it’ll be even easier to shed the baby weight once your little one is here!

 How Much Weight Do You Need To Gain?

That depends.  We’re all different shapes and sizes, so your pre pregnancy weight will determine your recommended weight gain:

Start off by calculating your BMI, Body Mass Index.  Try this BMI calculator!

      Pre Pregnancy Weight with Recommended Weight Gain

Underweight BMI less than 18.5                                                    28-40 lbs

Normal weight BMI 18.5 – 24.9                                                      25–35 lbs

Overweight BMI 25-29.9                                                                    15-25 lbs

Obese BMI 30 or above                                                                       11-15 lbs

 Weight Gain by Trimester

There’s no one-size-fits all pregnancy.  Some women may gain very little during the first trimester, while others gain most of their weight during the first 12 weeks.  On the flip side, some women can find eating to be difficult towards the end of pregnancy where weight gain can level off, while others gain steadily.  Keep track of your overall weight gain instead of focusing on how much you gained at each doctor’s appointment.  On average, pregnancy weight gain by trimester with a normal pre pregnancy weight is as follows:

First Trimester:  1-4.5 lbs

Second Trimester: 1-2 lbs per week

Third Trimester: 1-2 lbs per week

 Where Does All This Extra Weight Go?

If the average newborn is ~7-8lbs where exactly does that other 22-27lbs go? Carrying your little one takes work and with that comes some extra baggage:

Baby: 7 to 8 lbs

Larger breasts: 2 lbs

Larger uterus: 2 lbs

Placenta: 1 1/2 lbs

Amniotic fluid: 2 lbs

Increased blood volume: 3 to 4 lbs

Increased fluid volume: 3 to 4 lbs

Fat stores: 6 to 8 lbs

 Eating for Two?  Not So Much. 

Staying on track with your weight gain during pregnancy is easy once you realize that “eating for two” is an unfortunate myth!  If starting from a normal pre pregnancy weight, a pregnant woman needs about 1800 calories during the first trimester, 2,200 during the second, and 2,400 for the third.  Not quite eating for two.  That’s about an extra ~300 calories a day.

That’s 300 calories of nutrient rich foods, not sweets, treats, and junk food.  We’re growing a baby here after all!  Here’s what an extra 300 calories a day looks like:

A nut butter sandwich with ½ cup banana slices and Paleo bread.


One Chobani 6oz Greek Yogurt split throughout the day (if you do dairy).


A delicious smoothie


1/2 cup guacamole with 1 cup sliced veggies.


Two Paleo cookies and a cup of almond milk hot chocolate

Keep track and eat up for Mommy and Baby!  A healthy weight gain during pregnancy can set you up for a better recovery and getting back to your pre-pregnancy figure faster!

Speaking of that pre-pregnancy figure…

When your bundle of joy has arrived, you’ve settled into your new role and you’re ready to get your body back, kick start your weight loss with my 7-day Paleo cleanse! It includes sample meal plans, a shopping list and all the details on why and how it works. And the best part: it’s completely FREE and it totally WORKS!!

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Jenny Champion MS RD CPT

Dietitian. Mom. Boss. Read More

Xo Jenny

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