Pregnancy Weight Gain

Most women worry a great deal about gaining weight, even in the early months of pregnancy.

As with everything else in pregnancy, there is no real normal range by which to gauge proper weight gain. Some women actually lose weight in the first trimester, especially if they have had a lot of nausea. Many women report a thickening of the waist almost right away—something they notice when they try to close the buttons of their tighter-fitting jeans.

Fully experiencing the changes of your pregnant body—the extra fat storage that nourishes the baby and the full, heavy feeling of your growing baby—can often bring up negative self-images. We live in a society where “thin is beautiful.” But thin is not beautiful for a pregnant woman and her baby. A strong, sturdy, well-rounded body is.

For many of us, it is an internal battle to feel excited about a weight gain of one or two pounds a week when most of our lives are spent watching our weight or trying to lose that proverbial last five or ten pounds. We know it’s better for the baby and probably better for us and that we’ll lose it later, but growing into pregnancy and gaining weight can nevertheless present a challenge.

You may be wondering precisely where in your body the weight you’ve gained is going. After all, the average baby only weighs seven or eight pounds. Where does the rest go?

Here’s where it goes in the average pregnancy, but remember, every pregnancy is different:

Baby                                   7.5 pounds
Your breasts                        2 pounds
Extra maternal stores            7 pounds
    of protein, fat,
    and other nutrients
Placenta                              1.5 pounds
Uterus                                 2 pounds
Amniotic fluid                       2 pounds
Extra blood                          4 pounds
Extra body fluids                   4 pounds