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Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Excessive weight gain or weight loss may occur during pregnancy. Normally, it is believed that a woman can gain up to 12.8 kg during the gestation period. This is taking into account the standard body mass index (BMI = 26).

The norms of permissible weight may vary based on the initial parameters. It is permissible to gain no more than 10–11 kg for obese women during pregnancy. The weight of a pregnant woman can increase up to 20 kg with multiple pregnancies.

When Does Weight Gain Start in Pregnancy?

Weight gain starts with the completion of the symptoms of toxicosis. The appetite returns to the woman after she begins to feel better. Digestion improves, sensitivity to odors decreases and aversion to food disappears. Such a positive state is characteristic of the beginning of the second trimester.

A pregnant woman loses several kilograms during toxicosis. Then gradually they return and there is a set of additional weight.


Noticeable weight gain occurs from the 20th week of pregnancy. It doesn’t stop until the baby is born. Every week a woman adds about 400-500 grams. Sometimes these figures are significantly higher than the norm.

Maximum weight gain is reached around the 38th week of pregnancy. Weight indicators will be within the normal range with proper nutrition.

Weight Gain pregnancy weeks

When will it end?

Weight gain does not stop with the growth of the baby in the womb. A woman gains at least 6–9 kg closer to childbirth. Weight gain slows down after the 36-38th week of pregnancy. You may notice a slight decrease in appetite at these times. This is one of the signs of preparing the body for delivery.

How Does it Feel?

The first sensations of weight gain come along with the improvement of appetite. The woman notices that she begins to eat more. The feeling of hunger comes earlier than usual and you constantly want to eat. Then the legs, arms, and cheeks are noticeably rounded, and the stomach appears. Weight gain can be significant or subtle.


Excessive weight gain is expressed in a strong increase in clothing sizes and high rates on the scales. A woman adds from 500 grams to 1 kg or more every week. A large belly begins to be seen already in the 5th month.


Weight gain in a mild form is expressed in its barely noticeable increase. A woman can still wear her old clothes even after the 20th week of pregnancy. Her motor activity is not reduced. Weight grows up to 400 grams per week.

Excess body weight causes an acute course of most of the symptoms of pregnancy.

Prevention methods

Normal weight gain should go every week. The increase is at least 300 grams. It is worth paying special attention to the choice of food if there is a genetic tendency to be overweight. Preventive methods of dealing with excessive weight gain come down to adjusting the diet, changing lifestyle, and monitoring health.

Remove the habit of overeating

This addiction may not cause excessive weight gain before pregnancy. It will have a bad effect on your performance during the gestation period. The hormonal background changes and puffiness appear and response to malnutrition. Get into the habit of eating until you’re full. Reduce the number of servings, introduce fractional meals and chew food thoroughly. Don’t eat at night.

Counting calories

It’s best to always keep a calorie count if you’re prone to gaining excess weight. Write down everything you ate during the day and adjust the menu. Do not exceed the allowable values for the calorie content of food, according to your height and return. Consider your energy costs and activity patterns during the day. Do not impose strict diets or food restrictions. Strong restraint can lead to a relapse and even more weight gain.

Lose weight before pregnancy

If you are planning to become pregnant and you have a problem with excess weight, it is better to lose it before conception. You don’t have to follow strict diets. It is necessary to choose a diet together with a specialist based on your situation.

Everyone gets better from a certain group of foods. Each person has their own. Hormones or diseases can be the culprit in being overweight. Eliminate the cause of excess weight and it will go away.

Why Weight Gain Occurs in Pregnancy?

Weight gain during pregnancy is due to the growth of the baby. The baby will weigh approximately 3.5 kg by the end of gestation. To this weight is added interstitial fluid and additional blood volume. Together they bring up to 1.8 kg of weight.

A new organ appears – the placenta. It weighs up to 0.7 kg. The woman’s breasts fill up and grow in size. Her weight grows to 1.4 kg. The weight of the uterus (0.9 kg), the growth of muscle, and fat body mass (up to 3.6 kg) are added to the total weight. Amniotic fluid appears (0.9 kg).

Weight gain is due to the woman’s increased appetite. The body needs constant replenishment of energy reserves. Fetal growth and development require a lot of nutrients. This exacerbates the feeling of hunger and encourages the woman to constantly chew.


Remedies for excess weight gain during pregnancy are almost the same as without it. You need to be able to control your appetite. Appetite reduction methods can be applied if there is a strong excess of body weight: replacement with warm drinks, thorough chewing, and frequent meals. Ways to protect against excess weight during pregnancy:

Preservation of motor activity

Don’t stop moving when you know your position. Choose your activity option: long walks, swimming, yoga. Regular movement should be until the end of pregnancy if there are no contraindications. Activity and movement will help to correctly distribute the received calories and prevent their excess.

Healthy diet

You can use a diet aimed at reducing the energy value of food with a strong excess of body weight. The diet remains varied and nutritious, but food choices are limited. The main principle of such nutrition is rationality and balance.

You can’t starve with a healthy diet. It is necessary to remove such food products as bakery and confectionery products, sweets, juices, carbonated drinks, sugar, fatty and fried foods, and fast food.

Regular control of body weight

Weigh in every week and record the results. The optimal weight gain should not exceed 500 grams. Note the causes of excess weight gain and eliminate them in the next week. Maintaining weight control will allow you to work on the mistakes in nutrition and lifestyle.


It is worth consulting a doctor with an abnormally high appetite when the feeling of satiety is lost. Portions are increased, and hunger sets in within an hour after dinner. It is necessary to check the level of sugar in the blood, the balance of hormones, and the presence of malfunctions of the adrenal glands and thyroid gland.

You should consult a dietitian if you have already gained more than 12 kg by the middle of pregnancy. Weight is growing and is not regulated by diet and lifestyle.

What Not to Do

No need to go to extremes with strong weight gain. Beware of supplements with dubious and loud weight loss slogans. It is forbidden to use weight loss products during the gestation period. Consider what exactly should not be done when gaining body weight during pregnancy:

Take diuretics

You cannot use a diuretic during pregnancy to reduce weight. This is not a justified remedy that can harm the fetus.

Limit food

It is forbidden to go on a diet of starvation. You can’t limit your diet to the detriment of your health. Nutrition should remain complete and balanced.

Apply volume reduction massage techniques

This is an aggressive way to get rid of excess fluid. Methods such as LPG massage, lymphatic drainage massage, and pressotherapy are prohibited during pregnancy.

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