Weight Gain in Pregnancy

This is a common topic of conversation at your first antenatal visit. We will ask you what your pre-pregnancy weight was and then work out your pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) using this weight and your height. Rather that advising all pregnant women that they should gain an average of 12kg throughout pregnancy as we used to, we now advise a range of ideal weight gain based on your pre-pregnancy BMI. Even if you have a high BMI you can still ensure you get adequate nutrition for yourself and for your baby during the pregnancy without having to put on too much weight. For some women who are very overweight or very underweight we will advise them to see a dietician for advice in their pregnancy.

As a rough guide we recommend the Institute of Medicine guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy. These are listed in the table below and have been adopted by the Queensland Government:

Pre pregnancy BMI Target weight gain for pregnancy
<18.5kg/m² UNDERWEIGHT 12.5-18kg
18.5-24.9kg/m² NORMAL 11.5-16kg
25-29.9kg/m² OVERWEIGHT 7-11.5kg
Over 30kg/m² OBESE 5-9kg

If you are having a multiple pregnancy then you can expect to gain more weight. The rough guide in such cases is as follows:

Pre pregnancy BMI Target weight gain for twin pregnancy
<18.5kg/m² UNDERWEIGHT Liaise with dietician
18.5-24.9kg/m² NORMAL 16-24kg
25-29.9kg/m² OVERWEIGHT 14-23kg
Over 30kg/m² OBESE 11-19kg

Dr Etherington and our practice nurse will be happy to discuss this issue with you if you have any concerns.