How much weight do women REALLY gain in pregnancy? Just curious... - Mothering Forums
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Birth and Beyond > How much weight do women REALLY gain in pregnancy? Just curious...
justKate's Avatar justKate 06:12 PM 10-27-2011

I gained 45+ lbs in my last pregnancy, and it felt like a lot.  I am 5'6'', and was 27 yrs and 140 lbs. to start.  It was uncomfortable, and one of the things that my midwives have suggested is that I am more mindful of my weight gain this time.


I'm now 30, and started this pg at 150 lbs.  My "goal" (however you manage that) is to gain the "recommended" 25-35 lbs., but I just don't get HOW I do that.  I eat when I'm hungry, don't eat junk food, don't drink juice or soda, eat only brown carbs, and treat myself just now and then.  At 17 weeks, I've gained ~3 lbs.


Reading in my DDC and talking to friends/family, it seems like a lot of people gain more than the recommended weight, but I can't find any stats on it.


How much do women REALLY gain during pregnancy?  All the info out there seems to be about recommendations rather than reality.  Any thoughts?

Murph12334's Avatar Murph12334 06:17 PM 10-27-2011

with one i gained 16 and the other was 18 lbs total.  However, that is start to end weights.  It doesn't take into account that when i get pregnant I tend to loose 10, then gain it back later and gain more. 

It varies so much per person it seems.  I've known some to gain a lot and some to gain a little. 

amydidit's Avatar amydidit 06:50 PM 10-27-2011

With my first I gained 3 lbs, despite eating whenever I was hungry. With my second and third I gained about 50 doing the same as with my first (eating when hungry).

dogmom327's Avatar dogmom327 06:54 PM 10-27-2011

47# with my first, 28# with my second.

semmel84130's Avatar semmel84130 06:59 PM 10-27-2011

I only have one so far, and I gained 68 lbs. I started off at 150, and gained at almost exactly what the books say is a "good" rate... until about 32 weeks or so, when I suddenly started to gain multiple lbs per week. I didn't make any substantial changes in my diet or anything, and in fact, I ate healthier as a pregnant woman than I normally do, thanks to aversions to meat and salt. For a long time, all I wanted to eat was carrots and tomatoes. After the baby was born, I lost almost 30 lbs of it in the first few months. Since then, I've lost maybe 1 lb every few weeks.  As of today, I have 17 lbs to go. My baby will be 1 in a few weeks.


Anecdotally, most of my friends gained more than 25-35 lbs. A woman I work with, who is very thin and not at all tall, gained over 100 lbs! But I also know women who gained 10 - 15 lbs.

cameragirl's Avatar cameragirl 07:17 PM 10-27-2011
I lost 20lbs in the first trimester with DD, then ended up gaining that back plus about 20 lbs. I was VERY swollen, so I don't know how much of that was water. I ate well with her after I got the right treatment for hyperemesis, but just gained like crazy after the vomiting stopped.

This time I've gained about 15 lbs at 20.5 weeks. I'm overweight, and charts say 15 lbs. That isn't even enough for the placenta, baby, fluids, etc. I figure as long as I'm eating the recommended amount of calories, and it is healthy food, I don't need to worry about the scale too much. I just seem to gain during pregnancy and l lost it all within a few weeks last time.

EDIT: I should say that I don't really track calories most days. Occasionally I will to see where I'm standing with nutrition and calories, but it's every few weeks or so. I mostly just try to make healthy decisions, and make sure it isn't dehydration making me hungry.
JamieCatheryn's Avatar JamieCatheryn 07:19 PM 10-27-2011

First child, I went from 145 to 195. 3 years later, next child, 140 to 180. On the Bradley diet (ish), that's high protein, good intake of veggies in variety, reasonable whole grains and fruits. The avg on that is 35 lbs gained. The weight came off without a lot of extra work.

erinmattsmom88 07:52 PM 10-27-2011

Gained 60 lbs with first (girl), 39 lbs with second (boy, had GD). My son is 18 months and I still can't get rid of pooch belly. Had 2 c-sections so I think that has something to do with it. I should be at 120 lbs, but am at 140 still. I started both pregnancies at around 150. So, at least I lost an additional 10 lbs after second pregnancy. Still have 20 to go to get back to my ideal weight that I wasn't at when I got pregnant the first time!!

erigeron 07:56 PM 10-27-2011

I gained 45 lbs; started out at 5'5.5" and 130. 4 months later I've shed all but 5 lbs. I did do some rather unhealthy eating (in hindsight--I've gotten better at nutrition since then). But mostly, in the first trimester at least, I was STARVING! Like to the point where I could barely function and could only survive the day by chowing down constantly. Early on I had an obnoxious NP at my doc's office lecture me about my weight gain... she's lucky I didn't eat HER. I never counted calories. I figured I needed to eat good food that actually filled me.

lifeguard's Avatar lifeguard 08:24 PM 10-27-2011

40lbs with my first & -23lbs this time. I was much stricter with my eating this time & exercised throughout. Of the women I know irl they gained anywhere from 5-80lbs, but honestly those that gained the larger amounts struggled more with taking it off.

mamapigeon's Avatar mamapigeon 08:30 PM 10-27-2011

I gained 40 pounds, though 20 were in the last month.

Buzzer Beater's Avatar Buzzer Beater 08:47 PM 10-27-2011

I gained about 45 pounds with my first pregnancy, and about 12 with my last one. I had hyperemesis with both, but oddly felt better during my second where I did not gain.

LiLStar's Avatar LiLStar 09:52 PM 10-27-2011

I tend to gain 50-60ish each time. I'm 38 weeks and up 55ish I think. And its never been any trouble to lose it. I put *zero* effort into weight loss. I eat whatever I want and nurse on demand. Last time I tandemed and pumped to donate and ended up below my pre pregnancy weight

nia82 09:32 AM 10-28-2011

I kept eating normally, albeit a tad healthier in my pregnancies (less chocolate and nutella). I'm 5'6" with a starting weight of 112, I gained 28 lbs with my son (birth at 37 weeks) and 25 lbs with my daughter (39 weeks, lots of nausea up to 28 weeks, so little possibility to eat there). My MIL gained 50lbs each time and both she and the babies were fine...

Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 09:36 AM 10-28-2011

start to delivery this was me.  i guess i like to eat a lot of carbs when pg. i have food issues and tend to binge eat unless on a structured diet and when those pg cravings hit there is no holding back


ds1 90 lbs

ds2 75 lbs

dd 130 lbs

philomom's Avatar philomom 09:43 AM 10-28-2011
first baby 18 lbs
second baby 20 lbs
third baby 22 lbs

I do the Brewer/ Blue Ribbon baby diet with each pregnancy.
lizsky's Avatar lizsky 11:08 AM 10-28-2011

I gained 31 pounds, and nearly all of it was during the 2nd trimester.   I switched my care during my 2nd trimester, and I noticed that the nurse at the OB office always comment on my rapid weight gain, while the MWs I switched to never mentioned it.  


I'm following a similar pattern now.  No weight gain 1st trimester, but I'm gaining 2-3 pounds a week now at 19 weeks.  It feels kindof fast, and I wish I'd gain more gradually and evenly, but my body seems set on gaining at this pace regardless of diet choices and moderate exercise. 


mambera's Avatar mambera 11:49 AM 10-28-2011

29 with my first (123 to 152) resulting in a 6 lb 14 oz baby, 34 with my second (121 to 155) baby 7 lb 11 oz.  No special diet/exercise, eat when hungry, generally healthy diet with occ treats.  It still took me a year to lose the 15 lb left after delivery the first time (though admittedly I wasn't particularly trying). 

Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 12:15 PM 10-28-2011

I gained right around 20 pounds in my last four pregnancies. In my first one, I'd gained 18 pounds when I went on maternity leave (four weeks before my "due" date). I had no money, nothing to do, no car (and didn't drive, anyway) and was starting to find it hard to get around. So, while I kept up with my walks and workouts, I was spending a lot of the rest of my time sitting on the couch and eating too much. I gained another 10 pounds in that last four weeks, for a total of just under 30.

mamablitz's Avatar mamablitz 01:03 PM 10-28-2011

my appetite has decreased but I try to eat healthy, I am 20 weeks and haven't gained anything more than 3 pounds. last pregnancy I was the same weight post partum as I was pre pregnancy

rainbow_mandala's Avatar rainbow_mandala 10:55 AM 10-29-2011

This post has been removed due to privacy reasons.

Hannah32's Avatar Hannah32 11:33 AM 10-29-2011

I gained just over 50 with my first. It was too much. It was unhealthy. I still am up about 15 pounds from my prepregnancy weight. I have food issues. After about three years of maintaining  a healthy weight for my height, I just let loose when I got pregnant and ate whatever I wanted during the entire gestation. Ugh. 

josie423's Avatar josie423 06:22 PM 10-29-2011

I gain 45-55 lbs during each pregnancy. I haven't weighed myself in a couple months, but have a feeling this pregnancy will be my highest gain. Honestly, I had the most trouble losing the weight after my third, whom I gained the least with. shrug.gif I generally lose the weight in 4ish months.

Peony's Avatar Peony 09:08 AM 10-30-2011

I've gained anywhere from 19 lbs to over 50. I usually gain around 40. It doesn't really matter what I do, exercise, eat well, my body just does what it wants to. I always lose the weight, well I did the first 3 times, I'm 3 months pp from #4 and still have 20 lbs to go which is normal, it takes a lot of hard work to get the weight off. 

tooraloora's Avatar tooraloora 09:36 AM 10-30-2011

With my first, I gained over 60 lbs. I craved orange juice like crazy and went through a gallon a day. I was borderline diabetic. I ate considerably less than before the pregnancy (morning sickness through the whole pregnancy), but the weight just kept piling on. I went two weeks overdue, and was shocked when DD wasn't enormous. 7lbs 4oz. With my second, I struggled to put on weight, but finally gained almost 30lbs by the end. I can't count how many times I went to an appointment to hear my midwife fussing at me over ketones in my urine sample. Stress was giving me a tough time eating and keeping food down, and I didn't want anything to do with anything sweet. I pretty much lived off greens.

DaisyO's Avatar DaisyO 10:04 AM 10-30-2011

I started at 130 and gained between 50 and 60 lbs.  It was all normal until about 35 weeks, when I started to gain more than a pound a day for no apparent GD...but my thyroid levels were not the best, although my midwives weren't worried.  I half suspected an iodine deficiency (ate non-iodized sea salt, and was only on 1/3 of a prenatal a day), but that doesn't totally add up b/c I live near the sea and ate lots of seafood and even seaweed salad.  Still confused about that fast weight gain, it was scary since I couldn't stop it.  It stopped itself when I had my baby (induced after early rupture of membranes) at 37+1.  She was only 5.5 lbs, too.  Very strange pattern of weight gain that makes me feel nervous about any hypothetical next time (although I think I'll be happy with just one!), especially since the birth was not as expected and that in my mind was tied to the weight gain.


As far as weight loss goes, I'm now only 120, with almost no effort on my part.  The baby is 15 months old and still nursing a lot, and I've been vegetarian for about six months now also.  So, it all just kind of disappeared.  Still confused about the whole thing, as I said..not to hijack, but if anybody has insight I'd be interested.



Amylcd's Avatar Amylcd 10:24 AM 10-30-2011

65 with my first  (no diabetes or health problems causing the gain)

40 with my second

lost 15 in the first trimester with my third... gained it back plus an extra 2 pounds.

quantumleap's Avatar quantumleap 11:04 AM 10-30-2011

with dd - I started out a bit underweight, ate and exercised well (was handling several sled dog teams, walking/biking everywhere, yoga, etc. etc), and gained 75lbs. Lost all but 5-10 within about four months by just living my life.

with ds - was still hanging on to that extra 5lbs to start out with, gained closer to 80lbs. I still ate well and was reasonably active, but the spd the second time around was excrutiating, which limited me more than I liked. At 10 months pp, I'm still hanging on to 15lbs. I'm still a reasonable weight, but I would love to get rid of the extra, so I think I'll actually have to put in some extra effort!

I make big babies (9lbs2oz and 9lbs13oz), and big placentas. 

I would have had to severely restrict my intake to stay with the recommended guidelines.

Just1More's Avatar Just1More 12:16 PM 10-30-2011

I gain a lot, too.  I don't know exactly because I don't keep super close track of it.  But, I start off somewhere in the 135-145 range (which is good for my height), and end up in the 180-220 range.  Dd3 was the most, around 80 pounds probably, now that I do the math.  Whew.  Ds was the least, probably in the 45 pound range.  My midwife with him was surprised when she saw me for the first time at 32ish weeks and I told her I'd gained 30 pounds.  She said, "You?!?!"  So, I guess I carry up to about 165-170 well.  Nearing the 200 point, I start getting uncomfortable.


This time, I am hoping to gain a fair bit the 20-30 pound range.  I'm eating whenever I am hungry, but carrots and grapes instead of brownies and ice cream. ;)


I, too, make bigger babies (8.7, 8.10, 9.6, 8.14).

coldandsleepy's Avatar coldandsleepy 07:11 AM 11-02-2011


Originally Posted by semmel84130 View Post

I only have one so far, and I gained 68 lbs. I started off at 150, and gained at almost exactly what the books say is a "good" rate... until about 32 weeks or so, when I suddenly started to gain multiple lbs per week. I didn't make any substantial changes in my diet or anything

This describes my gaining pattern with my first pregnancy and (I suspect, much as it dismays me) my pattern this time, too.  I gained 55 lbs with my older son, and almost all of that was in the third trimester.  Before the third tri hit, I was smack in the middle of normal pregnancy weight gain.  Same thing seems to be happening this time.  I'm up about 25 now with 10-12 weeks to go but my gain per week is going way up despite the fact that I'm eating the same, still biking at least an hour a day, etc.  Peculiar and frustrating, but I guess that's the way my body works.


I expected to have a lot of trouble losing it all last time (55 lbs is not an insignificant amount of weight), but in fact, I lost 24 lbs by about 5 days post delivery (first time I could face weighing myself) and the rest melted away over the course of about 9 months with no big effort on my part.


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