Pregnancy: How much weight gain can you expect during pregnancy?

I have a very active lifestyle. I have only gained five pounds and I am five months pregnant. My doctor says this is within the normal range. Should I be concerned?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Weight gain in pregnancy averages 25 to 35 pounds, with first-time moms gaining an average of 27 1/2 pounds. Weight gain will vary, depending on the mother's pre-pregnancy weight. A very thin woman who is below her optimum weight should gain 28 to 40 pounds, while an overweight woman should gain about 15 pounds. About 20 pounds of the weight gained is baby weight: The rest is usually storage of fat.

A wide range of weight gain is compatible with healthy babies. Your care provider will be concerned if pregnancy weight gain is inadequate or stops altogether because this has been associated with fetal growth retardation.

Weight gain usually follows this pattern:
Weeks 1 through 19: 2 to 5 pounds
Weeks 20 through 40: 1/2 to 1 pound per week

I would need to know more about your history and body composition to comment on whether five pounds is too little. Five pounds by 20 weeks seems within the curve, but by 24 weeks, another pound or two would be good.

Of course, your diet is the most important variable here. Make sure you are getting enough protein, carbohydrates and all the essential vitamins and minerals.

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