Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator
Pregnancy also known as gestation is a beautiful and amazing phase in a women’s life which lasts about 40 weeks and is divided into three trimesters. A female goes through a lot of changes during this phase physically, physiologically, emotionally and mentally. A healthy pregnancy eventually leads to a healthy baby and this is attributed to the fact that the mother is free from diseases and deficiencies and gaining enough weight to support the new life inside her.
Why do you gain weight during pregnancy?
Its normal to gain weight during pregnancy because there a lot of changes happening in the body of the mother. Weight gain happens due to lot of factors such as growing size of the foetus, placenta, amniotic fluid, changes in the shape and size of the breasts, uterus etc. However gaining too much weight and weighing too low is a matter of serious concern as it might be due to underlying diseases .
Increased weight gain leads to complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, postpartum water retention and so on. On the contrary less weight gain causes preterm births and low birth weight babies whose weight is less than 2.5 kgs(1,2)
How Much Weight You Can Gain During Pregnancy?
Weight gain during pregnancy depends upon the BMI of the individual and also the type of pregnancy (single or twin pregnancy). A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal. Above 24.9 the individual is considered as overweight and more than 30 its obese. The following description gives you a fair idea of weight gain that should happen during pregnancy .
If you are underweight i.e BMI less than 18.5 you should gain between 28 and 40 pounds during pregnancy.
If your BMI is normal(18.5-24.9), the weight gain should be 25 to 23 pounds and incase of twin pregnancy it should be 37 to 54 pounds.
Incase you are overweight BMI( 25 to 29.9) then weight gain between 15 to 25 pounds should happen and 31 to 50 pounds for twin pregnancy.
If you are obese before pregnancy (BMI>30) then you should gain 11to 20 pounds of weight .Incase of twin pregnancy the weight gain should be 25 to 42 pounds and not more than that.(3,4)
Weight Gain during Pregnancy Calculator:
Height in feet/inches
Weight in decagrams(dag)/kilograms(kgs)/ounces(oz)/pounds(lb)/stones(stone)
Result You are in normal limits(18.5-24.9)
You are overweight(<18.5)
You are underweight(24.9-29.9)
You are obese>30
How to use the weight gain calculator
Weight yourself first on a weighing scale with lighter clothes
Enter you details such as height in feet and inches or cms
Enter your prepregnancy weight.
This will give results for your BMI range
Then enter your week of pregnancy
Select yes/no for single or twin pregnancy.
You will get the result.
Pregnancy weight gain by week and by trimester
We all know that weight gain happens during pregnancy but it also depends on the trimester.
During the first trimester weight gain is not much rapid as compared to the other two trimesters.Most of the weight gain happens in second trimester and slows down at the end of third trimester.
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters
1st trimester 1-3 months (first 12 weeks)
2nd trimester 4-6 months (13-28 weeks)
3rd trimester 7-9 months (29th week till birth)
On a trimester basis in a woman with normal pre-pregnancy weight:
First trimester: 1-4.5 pounds
Second trimester: 1-2 pounds per week
Third trimester: 1-2 pounds per week (7,8)
Total weight gain during pregnancy by prepregnancy BMI
The Institute of Medicine of Academics based on the guidelines of World Health Organization(WHO) suggests a weight gain in pregnancy week by week and the following chart give us an estimate of weight gain that should happen(9)
Pre pregnancy BMI(kg/m2)
Total Weight Gain Range
Total Weight Gain Range for Twin Pregnancy
Pregnancy weight gain distribution chart:
Most of the weight gain during pregnancy is not because of fat but due to the increased maternal tissues and the growing foetus.The follow table shows the weight gain distribution(10)
Increased blood volume
Increase fluid volume
Changes in the body during pregnancy?
During pregnancy the body goes through a lot of changes such as changes in uterus, cervix, vagina , the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, and urinary system and changes in the skin and breasts.
Changes in hormones:
Estrogen and Progesterone are the chief hormones that play a major role throughout pregnancy.High estrogen levels promotes maternal flow within the uterus and placenta whereas high levels of progesterone causes an increase in maternal tissues such as breasts,and the uterus to accommodate the growing baby.These changes might also lead to mood swings, anxiety, depression , restlessness and so on.
Changes in the cardiovascular system:
The heart may increase is size due to increased load on it.During the second trimester the heart works 40% extra harder than non pregnant women due to increase in blood volume.The volume of blood increases gradually by 30-50% in the pregnant women, so at the end of pregnancy the female has 1.5 litres of blood compared to non pregnant females.
Low blood pressure in pregnancy:
Many women feel dizzy in the first trimester due to decrease in the blood pressure.Hormone progesterone cause sudden relaxation in the blood vessels,resulting in feeling of acute dizziness and a brief period of unconsciousness.Small and frequent meals will help to combat low blood pressure.
Water retention in pregnancy:
Fluid often builds up in the legs and feet of pregnant women are first trimester instead of being absorbed in the blood circulation leading to a condition called oedema.This is a very common condition and happens due to long standing for hours.
Changes in respiratory system:
During pregnancy a female finds it difficult to breath normally as the growing foetus puts pressure upwards towards the lungs making it compact.
Changes in gastrointestinal system:
Many women experience nausea and morning sickness in the initial weeks of pregnancy.As the pregnancy progresses indigestion and heartburn are very common because the growing baby crowds the mother’s stomach and pushes it higher than usual due to which it causes reflux of acids into the chest.In such cases pregnant females should have small and frequent meals and shouldn’t lie down upto 2 hours after a meal.
Frequent urination and constipation:
Frequent urination is a major change that happens in pregnant females especially in first and third trimester of pregnancy.The growing baby puts a lot of pressure on the bladder causing an urge to urinate frequently.Excessive water retention in the feet and legs is also responsible for frequent urination especially during nights.On one hand the pregnant female has bladder incontinence and on the other hand due to increased pressure of hormones on the muscles of bladder she feels constipated.
Changes in skin:
We might have observed acne during pregnancy but there are also many other changes in the skin during pregnancy.Some females produce brownish or yellowish patches on the forehead and face a condition called chloasma or mask of pregnancy.It usually begins at 16th week of pregnancy i.e in second trimester and goes away after delivery.More other changes in the skin would be acne due to production of excessive oil by the sebaceous glands, heat rashes over the skin, stretch marks in the abdomen , thigh and breast regions due to increased elasticity of skin.
Some females might also observe a dark line near the umbilicus and pubic bone.Its a hormone induced which causes increased pigmentation and fades away after delivery.
Changes in breast :
Changes in the bra size is the first thing one might observe in the initial months of pregnancy all thanks to high levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone.This might happen throughout the pregnancy as there is increased in the size of the ribcage and formation of milk producing glands.
The areola around the nipples darken and montgomery's gland enlarge and tend to produce.
During 16th week of pregnancy the breasts starts producing colostrum which is also known as immature milk high in nutrients and antibodies.It is a blessing for the new born babies(11,12,13)
What to eat during pregnancy?
All though it's not necessary to eat for two during the first trimester of pregnancy but there is an increased demand of foods rich in nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, vitamin d, iron and protein.
The most important thing to remember is that you need not go on a special diet but try to include a variety of foods which can provide essential nutrients.
Foods rich in folate and folic acid:
Folate and folic acid is an essential B vitamin necessary during the entire pregnancy as it helps to prevent neural tube defects and abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord of the growing foetus.Its found in foods such as spinach, oranges, dried beans and peas.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium and Vitamin D are essential for the formation of strong bones and teeth and also for the proper functioning of the nervous,muscular and circulatory system.Lack of Vitamin D hampers calcium absorption so one must include foods like milk and milk products, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, fishes apart from supplementing themselves.
An important nutrient vital for the overall growth and development of the baby is found in foods such as poultry, fish, meat, soy products , beans, legumes , milk and milk products.
Iron deficiency anemia is a very common problem during pregnancy due to increased blood volume.Care must be taken to avoid its deficiency by including foods rich in iron such as lean meats, green leafy vegetables,poultry, dry fruits and so on.
Apart from including the above mentioned foods in the diet it is also important to obtain such nutrients in the form of supplements and vitamins as prescribed by the healthcare provider.
Foods to avoid
Foods which are detrimental to health such as raw uncooked foods, unwashed fruits and vegetables such be avoided by pregnant females.
Unpasteurised milk products carries risk of food contamination.
Sea foods such as shark, swordfish, tuna and mackerel have high mercury content and hence needs to be avoided .
Excessive caffeine and alcohol should be avoided as it crosses the placental barrier and harm the baby.
Smoking is not at all advisable as it poise health effects and leads to premature outcomes(14)
One must be careful and check for any aversions and allergies to any food apart from the mentioned above and speak to medical professional or their dietitian