Pregnancy and Weight Gain

Gaining weight during pregnancy is natural, normal and healthy. Gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy has benefits:

  • it helps your baby have a healthy start;
  • it can reduce your risk of complications in pregnancy and at delivery;
  • it prepares you for breastfeeding, and
  • it improves your long-term health.

Your recommended weight gain depends on your Body Mass Index (BMI) before you became pregnant (your pre-pregnancy BMI). The Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator can help you determine the recommended weight gain that will promote a healthy pregnancy. The results from the Pregnancy Weight Gain calculator can be used as a general guide for single pregnancies and should not replace individualized medical advice.

Where does the weight go?

Your weight gain comes from your baby and the parts of your body that supports their growth and development:

  • Extra blood, fluids and protein
  • Breasts and energy stores
  • Uterus
  • Amniotic fluid

When will you gain the weight?

  • In the first trimester, you can expect to gain about 1 to 2 kg (about 2 to 4 lbs).
  • During the second and third trimesters, weight gain happens gradually for most people. However, a sudden peak in the rate of weight gain during the second trimester is not unusual.

What can you do to gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy?

Enjoy being active.

  • Physical activity throughout pregnancy is important. Being active every day is encouraged.
  • Pregnant women should be active at least 150 minutes each week by doing things such as walking, dancing, gardening and household chores.
  • Remember to talk to your health-care provider before increasing your activity level or starting an exercise program.
  • Visit the Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy for more information.

Eat “twice as healthy” not “twice as much”.

  • One extra snack each day is often enough. For example, have an apple or a pear with a small piece of cheese as an afternoon snack.
  • Visit Canada’s Food Guide for information about healthy eating.

Services related to this information:

Public Health Nursing offices, Eastern Health

811 HealthLine (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555

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Last updated: 2020-07-31