Pregnancy Weight Gain – Where Does The Weight Go?

Pregnancy Weight Gain Distribution

For many women, the prospect of pregnancy weight gain can be a worry. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way but remember weight gain during pregnancy is an important and very normal result of pregnancy and it helps promotes the healthy development of your baby.

In this article, we’ll provide a pregnancy weight gain breakdown covering where the weight goes when you put on weight during your pregnancy to begin with, it’s important that we call out:

The figures quoted in this article are approximate only!!!

As human beings, we are all a little different so if you’re not adding up the numbers in this article or you don’t see a perfect alignment between these numbers and your own circumstances, try not to worry.

If you are worried because there is a huge disconnect then seek input from your health care provider to more accurately determine your current pregnancy weight status.

How Much Weight ‘Should’ You Gain During Pregnancy

Again, ‘should’ is all relative as it depends on your starting point, however guidelines recommended that pregnant women gain approximately 1-4 pounds during the first 3 months of pregnancy, and 1 pound per week during the remainder of the pregnancy.

Your starting weight will influence these guidelines, with the Institute of Medicine providing a weight gain guideline based on you’re Pre-pregnancy BMI.

Underweight women have a little more leeway and can gain between 28 and 40 pounds. Overweight women (with a BMI between 25 and 29.5) should gain about 15 to 25 pounds, and women who are obese (those with a BMI of 30 or above) should gain only 11 to 20 pounds,

If you’re pregnant with multiples (twins/triplets), your pregnancy weight gain, of course, will be higher.

Recommendations for total weight gain during pregnancy by prepregnancy BMI

Prepregnancy
BMI (kg/m2)
Category Total Weight
Gain Range
Total Weight Gain Range
for Pregnancy with Twins
<18.5 Underweight 28-40 lbs
18.5-24.9 Normal Weight 25-35 lbs 37-54 lbs
25.0-29.9 Overweight 15-25 lbs 31-50 lbs
>30.0 Obese 11-20 lbs 25-42 lbs

Though much of the pregnancy weight gain is due to the placenta, the fetus, the amniotic fluid and the energy reserves accumulated in anticipation of breastfeeding. You might feel as though you’re packing on pure fat, but most of the new weight can be attributed to fluids and expanding body tissue.

Pregnancy Weight Gain Breakdown
This Pie Chart Provides An Approximate Overview Of Where Your Weight Will Be Distributed To During Pregnancy

With a full-term pregnancy weight gain of about 30 pounds, you get 4 pounds of increased fluid, 4 pounds of added blood volume, 2 pounds of breast tissue, 2 pounds of uterus tissue, 1.5 pounds of the placenta (an organ that didn’t exist before!), 2 pounds of amniotic fluid, 7 pounds of fat, protein, and other nutrient stores, and 7 – 8 pounds of joy (that’s your baby!).

Pregnancy weight gain breakdown

Your Baby: 7-8 pounds
Enlarged breasts: 1-3 pounds
Enlarged uterus: 2 pounds
Placenta:1.5 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
Increased blood volume: 3-4 pounds
Increased fluid volume: 2-3 pounds
Fat stores: 6-8 pound

What trimester do you gain the most weight during pregnancy?

Generally, your Fetus gains the most weight during the third trimester of pregnancy. They will gain an average of 5 lb (2.2 kg) and grow around 4–6 inches during the third trimester. In addition to the weight from your growing fetus, the placenta will also grow in size during this period.

Everyone is different!

Remember that every woman is different. Some women may gain 10 lbs during their pregnancies, and some might gain 80. ⁣⁣ Pregnancy affects everyone differently, as long as the baby is doing ok in there, and there isn’t a medical condition going on (like pre-eclampsia) that’s causing you to gain excess weight, IT IS OKAY!

Now, with that said. Don’t be eating Cheetos with every meal 😀, but if you are keeping up with mild/moderate exercise, eating healthy, and you’re STILL struggling with gaining “too much” weight during your pregnancy, don’t sweat it too much. ⁣

⁣Remember, your pregnancy weight gain is related to all the body changes that occur to accommodate the baby. Weight gain is a normal result of pregnancy. It promotes the development of the baby and you’ll lose a big chunk of this weight the moment your baby is born.

Did you find our Pregnancy Weight Gain Breakdown accurate and what were your own experiences of weight gain during pregnancy?

Share your experiences and thoughts in our comments

Originally posted 2021-03-11 09:34:15.

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  1. I’ve only gained weight on my belly and nowhere else 😂

  2. What if you’re 39 weeks and gained 16lb only so far and being told baby is big and looks 2 weeks ahead? I’m like how if I didn’t gained that much? Is the baby possibly 10lb? 1st 2 were 8.2lb and 8

  3. I went from 11 stone to 15.5 56” bump at 41+4 9lb 11 bubba I’m stuck at 13 stone after almost three years but do have hypothyroidism

  4. I eat 2300 a day and gained 15 pounds so far 😬 I’m 30 weeks pregnant

  5. I’ve gained about 13 pounds so far at 29 weeks! Let’s hope I can get this baby weight off fast!! Can’t wait to meet my little girl ❤️