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WEBSITE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health

Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain

How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy?

How much weight you gain during pregnancy depends on your weight before pregnancy.

Pre-pregnancy Weight

BMI

Recommended Weight Gain

Underweight

<18.5

28-40 pounds

 Normal Weight

18.5-24.9

25-35 pounds

Overweight

25-29.9

15-25 pounds

Obese

>30.0

11-20 pounds

As a general rule, most women gain 2 to 5 pounds in the first trimester.  After that, aim for one pound per week.  Talk to your care provider about which weight gain range is best for you

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Find out your BMI by entering your information into this BMI calculator.

Too Little?

When you do not gain enough weight you risk:

  • Having a low-birth weight baby which increases the baby’s risk for health issues such as developmental problems, other serious illnesses or even death.

  • Your baby and you not getting enough nutrition to be healthy.

Too Much?

When you gain too much weight you risk:

  • A difficult delivery for your baby.

  • Increased risk of C-section

  • Having a large baby which increases the baby’s risk of long term health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

  • Increased high blood sugars and high blood pressure during your pregnancy.

  • Difficulties with weight loss after you have the baby.

What Should You Eat?

Always remember that you are eating to nourish you and your baby.

  • To give your baby the best possible start in life, make smart food choices.

  • Limit foods such as candy, cookies, cake, pie, soda and coffee. These foods do not contain all the nutrients necessary for you and your baby.

  • Think variety! Try to include fruits and vegetables of different colors.  

  • Try 100% whole wheat breads, pastas and tortillas for added fiber and vitamins.

  •  Choose reduced fat milk and dairy to get the needed calcium and vitamin D, but less fat.

Being pregnant is a great time to make healthy food choices for you and your baby – he / she will thank you!

Physical Activity

Physical activity is very important for a healthy mom and a healthy baby.

  • Pregnant women should be under the care of a healthcare provider with whom they can discuss their personal physical activity needs and options.

  • Healthy women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week during and after pregnancy.   

  • Activity should be spread throughout the week, and performed at least 10 minutes at a time.   For example, exercise 30 minutes per day, for 5 days per week.

  • Walking, swimming, and low-impact group fitness classes are all examples of moderate-intensity activity.  These activities raise your heart rate and breathing and help you break a sweat.  You should be able to talk, but not sing, when exercising at this intensity.

  • Pregnant women should choose activity without a high risk of falling or injury, like skiing, horseback riding, or contact sports.

  • Pregnant women should avoid exercises involving lying on their back after the first trimester, like sit-ups.   Ask a fitness professional for other safer options.

Ask your health care provider about setting healthy weight gain goals for your pregnancy.

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