What’s “Normal” Pregnancy Weight Gain…And Loss?

Heidi Klum
Credits: Agostini, Kramer/Getty

Just what is “normal” pregnancy weight gain…and weight loss post-pregnancy?  New moms love to compare notes on how much weight they gained during pregnancy. Those that gain the least seem to take pride in knowing that they’re a few pounds closer to regaining their pre-pregnancy figure and those that gain the most are left feeling like they spent the better part of 9 months overindulging. But pregnancy and weight gain do go hand-in-hand.

Nicole Kidman
Credits: Truscello/WireImage; Corkery for News

What makes many new moms question themselves is what they see and read in the tabloids. Hollywood stars and super models showing off their fabulous svelte figures just weeks after giving birth. Nicole Kidman spotted 10 days after delivering without a mere bump in sight, Heidi Klum hitting the Victoria’s Secret runway less than 2 months out of the hospital, Kourtney Kardashian posing for a bikini cover shot 4 months later and Angelina Jolie delivering twins without skipping a beat.

Angelina Jolie
Credits: Hogan, Brown/Getty

The fact is, women who gain too little weight during pregnancy run the risk of delivering a low birth weight baby and that can lead to long-term developmental consequences. The notion of “eating for two” may be too generous, but adding an additional 300 calories to your daily diet will help feed your body the nutrients it needs for your baby to grow without packing on the pounds. Eating a healthy diet and staying fit should be the goal, not dieting and excessive exercise – that can wait!

Kourtney Kardashian
Credits: Harrison/Getty; LifeStyle Weekly

Personally, I have experienced pregnancy 3 times and gained between 32 – 35 pounds each time. Although I didn’t love leaving the hospital still wearing my maternity jeans, I knew it was only temporary. Luckily, I did lose all the weight following each pregnancy, but it did take me a good 9 months to lose what it took me 9 months to gain!

Pre-pregnancy weight Recommended weight gain
Underweight (BMI less than 18.5) 28 to 40 pounds (about 13 to 18 kilograms)
Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) 25 to 35 pounds (about 11 to 16 kilograms)
Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) 15 to 25 pounds (about 7 to 11 kilograms)
Obese (BMI 30 or greater) 11 to 20 pounds (about 5 to 9 kilograms)

— Ilaria


  1. Julie A says

    I gained 50 pds, worked in bakery,and couldn’t eat most things, because of morning sickness from 4-10 months late baby too. Did lose it by taking a few exercise classes in college. One class was doing cardio- swimming, aerobics, and running and another weightlifting which was fun. If I had another I would try to eat more healthy, find food that I could eat with morning sickness and exercise more. 😀

  2. Caroline says

    Im delivered a baby, my 1st child at 35. Before pregnancy, I was 5’6 120 lbs. So very tiny and quite thin. I had a very healthy pregnancy and I didnt show much pregnancy, until I was around 8 months. Through my pregnancy, I didnt overeat, just ate when I was hungry and Im not big on sweets. (Never ate after 6pm) From the beginning, till 6 months….I had gained 30 lbs and then in the last month, jumped from gaining a total of 35 lbs to almost 60lbs!!! Was told….I was all baby and was going to have a 6lb to a possible 8 lb baby! I went over 1 week from my delivery date and my son was a whopping 10lbs at birth!! When my son was born, I heard Dr’s say, “OMG hes HUUUGE!” He was a very long baby too! Later, on a I was told by my specialist…if I had waited the full 2 weeks, over my delivery date, he would have easily been a 13lb baby!! My husband is only 6″ tall, however my own father is 6’2 and a cousin 6’5. So we have tall people in the family. Now…my son is almost 2 (in a few months) and Im still having a hard time getting off that last 20lbs! Everyone says I look thin, but my boobs are huge and I still have some baby belly there. I eat extremely healthy, but I need to get into the groove of walking every day. I think…this is what will help me! My husband is also going to be my personal trainer–and motivate me, because I think after 35…your metabolism starts to slow down… I havent been able to get back into my size 27-28 jeans, which depresses me….

  3. says


    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with pregnancy weight gain (and the struggles trying to lose it).

    I know so many women can relate to this topic! You help everyone by sharing your own experiences.



  1. […] I’ve experienced “love fat” first-hand and most of my female friends have as well.  and so have most of my female friends. There’s no disputing the fact that those with the Y chromosome can really wreak havoc on our diets. Here are the main reasons why so many people experience so-called “love fat” that follows falling in love, saying “I do” and becoming a mom. I’ve also provided an Rx for each because being in love and with a man doesn’t have to come with love handles. It’s comfy: When we’re single, we simply care more about our body and how we look so we pay more attention to diet and exercise. We wear tighter, more revealing clothes and sexier lingerie. But once we get hitched, we get more comfortable and don’t worry so much about appearances. We wear PJs more and our skinny jeans and other tight clothes get lost in the back of  the closet. Rx: Do what it takes to motivate you to want and desire your single figure. Get some of your single-girl-slim clothes out of the back of your closet and use the garments as motivation to get your body back to your slimmer self. Whatever you do, don’t think…”I’m married…I don’t need to worry about this anymore.” You eat like him: If your man doesn’t have a healthy diet (and most men really don’t), you let his bad diet habits rub off on you.  Most women are happy with a salad for lunch and often dinner too.  Men, not so much. Your man may be a meat-and-potato-man but that doesn’t mean you need to be too. But since women aim to please our guys, we often cook and eat what our man prefers. Rx: If you can’t change your guy’s diet for the better, explain to him that you have to have healthier options at the meals you eat together. You’ll also have to eat even better when you’re not with your man to help accommodate the less healthy meals you enjoy with him. He likes curves: Let’s face it, a man’s ideal woman is curvier than many of us like for ourselves.  Numerous studies show that men prefer women who have curves like J.Lo, Beyonce or Kim Kardashian over the pin-thin types like Victoria Beckham. In fact, in one study, Australian researchers gave men line drawings of women of various sizes and men overwhelmingly choose women of a “normal” size, more like size 10-14.  Few men find stick-thin women attractive, so it’s no surprise that if you’ve put on a few lbs since hooking up, he probably likes it. Rx: Explain to your man that the extra lbs are unhealthy and make you feel less confident and more self-conscious. Make sure he knows that your desire to lose weight has nothing to do with your love and desire for him. Your portions are man-sized: Single gals don’t necessarily want to eat burgers, burritos, pizza, Hungry Man frozen dinners and drink beer most weeknights, but those may be foods that were typically in his diet before you came along. Men need many more calories than women do, so he can “afford” the high-calorie eats. However, if you try to keep up—bite for bite– keep you’re going to pile on pounds. Most men need 3,000 calories or more a day and most women need about 2,200. Rx: You can love your man, and eat with him, but don’t eat everything he eats and stick with your single-girl-slim portions. While you can enjoy your main meals with him, be sure you don’t eat more than 5 times a day.  Breakfast, mid-am snack, lunch, afternoon snack then dinner.  Men often eat a lot after dinner, but we can’t afford those additional p.m. calories. You Move Less: There are several studies that show couples watch more TV and get less exercise than singles. It’s nice to relax in the evenings together, just be sure that you are getting the same (or more) exercise as you did when you were single. Rx: Try to find a form of exercise that you both enjoy and can do together.  If you can’t settle on something, explain that you need your time to get daily exercise and work on a schedule that ensures that both of you are able to workout. You get preggers: When you decide to have a child, your personal needs get pushed even further aside and that often equals a worse diet, lack of time and more stress. Research shows that women who gain excess weight during pregnancy have a harder time getting back to their pre-pregnancy weight.  What’s more, having a second or third child without getting back to pre-pregnancy weight before conception is a major contributor to obesity. Rx: Be sure that you are at a healthy weight before even thinking about having a child. And when pregnant, follow the new guidelines for appropriate weight gain. […]

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