Pregnancy: How much weight should you gain?

Written by Dr. Andri Philippou RD

25 April 2021

Appropriate weight gain during pregnancy:

A large retrospective study of over 30 000 singleton pregnancies in Northern Ireland found that excess weight or weight gain not only increases the risk of the mother developing gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia during the pregnancy, but also reduces the chances of a vaginal delivery and increases the risk of birth complications.

The importance of good nutrition in the early development of children has been recognized for many decades. While it has been generally accepted that a pregnant woman would prioritize the needs of the fetus and sacrifice her own nutrient reserves to ensure its optimum development, it is also known that poor nutritional conditions before and during pregnancy can induce short-term and lasting changes in the size, composition and metabolic responsiveness of the offspring.

Pregnancy is certainly not the time to try to actively lose weight, but it is a wonderful time to embark on a healthful journey with your developing baby, changing your poor eating habits into positive eating behaviours that will bring about immediate and long-term improvements to both your and your baby’s health.

The table below summarises ideal weight gain goals for different pregnancies:

Weight category Twin pregnancy

total weight gain

Singleton pregnancy total weight gain
Underweight (BMI =<19.8) No specific value 12.5 – 18 kg
Normal weight (BMI = 19.8 – 26) 17 – 25 kg 11.5 – 16 kg
Overweight (BMI = 26 -29) 14 – 23 kg 7 – 11.5 kg
Obese (BMI => 29) 11 – 19 kg 5 – 9 kg

We at 4LifeLiving are passionate about walking this journey with our new and expectant mothers, and have always experienced this journey as one of the most rewarding to be a part of as we see our expectant moms transform their daily habits over the course of their pregnancy – a slow and steady habit changing process. Slow and steady….continuous and gradual are our main matras when it comes to successfully making long-term lifestyle changes.