in Health & Wellness
By Dr Aminath Zahra Published on 12/02/2020

Weight gain during pregnancy- How much is normal?

What is the normal weight gain during pregnancy, and how does it affect the mother and baby?
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Dr Aminath Zahra

Published on: 12/02/2020

DhulhaHeyoSihhathu Pregnancy Dr Aminath Zahra Gynecology
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The normal range for weight gain during pregnancy is identified by calculating the mother’s body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy.


What is BMI?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of the body size using height and weight. It shows whether a person has body weight less than normal (underweight), body weight in the appropriate range (normal), body weight above normal (overweight), or well above the normal range (obese).

To find your BMI, a BMI calculator can be used, or the chart below can be used as well.


Normal weight gain during pregnancy

A woman’s normal weight gain will depend on her BMI before pregnancy. If pregnant with one child:

BMI <18.5 (underweight): 12.5 - 18 kg

BMI 18.5-24.0 (normal weight): 11.5 - 16.0 kg

BMI 25.0-29.9 (overweight): 7.0 - 11.5 kg

BMI ≥30.0 (obese): 5.0 - 9.0 kg


Gaining too much weight

Excess weight gain during pregnancy could cause health problems for the mother and baby. The risks include:

  • Diabetes and high blood pressure for the mother
  • Larger baby
  • Difficulty in childbirth; increases health risks for mother and baby
  • Baby delivered through caesarean section


Not gaining enough weight

If the mother does not gain enough weight during pregnancy, the health risks include:

  • Baby not growing at normal rate (IUGR)
  • Birth weight is below the normal range (SGA)
  • Premature birth; causes respiratory difficulties for the baby and other health problems
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