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Pregnancy weight gain – what is normal? [INFOGRAPHIC]

It's natural and healthy to gain weight during pregnancy. In addition to the weight of your baby, there will be increases in blood volume, extra fluid, and increased fat stores as your body prepares for breastfeeding.
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Pregnancy weight gain- what is normal?

It's natural and healthy to gain weight during pregnancy.

In addition to the weight of your baby, there will be increases in blood volume, extra fluid, and increased fat stores as your body prepares for breastfeeding.

INFOGRAPHIC: Pregnancy weight gain – find out where the extra weight comes from

Knowing what to expect in terms of weight gain is important for both the mother and baby's health.

While the amount of weight you gain may vary compared to other women, and will occur at different rates depending on which trimester you are in, there are some general guidelines available.

According to the Institute of Medicine, the ideal change in weight during pregnancy depends on a woman's pre-pregnancy weight.

The following is a helpful guide to what is recommended for weight gain based on pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI).

Pre-pregnancy BMI                            Ideal weight gain
Less than 18.5 (underweight)               12.5 to 18kg
18.5 to 24.9 (normal weight)                 11.5 to 16kg
25 to 29.9 (overweight)                         7 to 11.5kg
30 or more (very overweight)                At least 7kg

Note - These figure are irrelevant for mothers with twins or multiple births.

BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared. For example, a 75 kg woman who is 1.75 m tall has a BMI of 24.5.

Online pregnancy weight gain calculators can quickly and easily calculate your BMI, and give you an estimate of your expected weight gain during pregnancy.

Dealing with a change in body shape can be a challenge for some women, especially if you are underweight or are very conscious of your weight.

Keeping your weight gain within recommended limits is healthy for your baby.

You shouldn’t go on a diet, but rather take sensible steps that will keep your weight under control.

Here are some helpful strategies to help keep your weight under control:

  • Focus on high nutrient foods such as fruits, vegetables, pulses and whole grains
  • Cut back on processed foods that are high in kilojoules, saturated fats and sugars
  • Eliminating, your alcohol intake
  • Take part in regular, gentle exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga
If you have any concerns about the amount of weight you have gained, or feel like you will fall outside the normal ranges listed in the table above, it would be wise to speak to your healthcare professional.

INFOGRAPHIC: Pregnancy weight gain – find out where the extra weight comes from

Pregnancy weight gain





References available on request

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