Gaining the Right Amount of Weight

Gaining the Right Amount of Weight

Pregnant Woman - Card 3


MN WIC Program

  1. Benefits of Breastfeeding
  2. Eating Right! Feeling Good!
  3. Gaining the Right Amount of Weight
  4. Heartburn and Constipation
  5. Nausea and Vomiting

Gaining enough weight is important for all pregnant women, to grow a healthy baby.


How much weight should you gain?

There is a weight gain goal that is good for you and your baby. Here are some weight gain ranges to help find your weight gain goal:

  • 28 to 40 pounds for underweight women
  • 25 to 35 pounds for normal weight women
  • 15 to 25 pounds for overweight women

Women carrying twins or triplets need to gain extra weight.


How fast should you gain weight?

Pregnant women should gain 2-5 pounds in the first 3 months. After the first 3 months, the suggested weight gain is about 1 pound per week. Underweight women need to gain a little more and overweight women a little less.


Where does all the weight go?

It is healthy to gain weight while you are pregnant. Many parts of your body get heavier during pregnancy. Your body makes changes to grow your baby and get ready for birth and breastfeeding.

  • Breasts - 1 lb
  • Blood - 3½ lbs
  • Uterus (womb) - 1-3 ½ lbs
  • Amniotic Fluid - 2 lbs
  • Placenta - 1½ lbs
  • Baby - -8 ½ lbs
  • Fluid - 3-6 lbs
  • Maternal Tissue - 8-10 lbs

If you are gaining less weight you should...

  • Eat foods high in calories and nutrients, such as:

• Whole milk Cheese
• Beans and rice
• Peanut butter
• Pizza
• Ice cream
• Hamburgers
• Milkshakes
• Meat, fish, chicken
• Dried fruit
• Nuts
• Creamed foods

  • Eat 4 - 6 times a day.
  • If you smoke, quit or cut way back.
  • Rest when you can. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep.

If you are gaining more weight you should...

Now is not the time to diet. But here are some suggestions to help slow your weight gain:

  • Drink low fat or skim milk. Skim milk has fewer calories.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables for snacks.
  • Eat less fried food and other foods high in fat. Bake, grill or broil meats.
  • Walking is a simple exercise almost everyone can do.
  • Find 20 minutes a day to walk, unless your doctor says not to.
  • Drink water when you are thirsty.