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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Weight matters

Gaining weight is necessary in pregnancy. The amount of weight you should expect to gains depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. There are risks associated with being overweight and/or gaining excess weight in pregnancy. Your doctor or midwife will measure your weight and height at your initial hospital visit and calculate your body mass index (BMI). Below is guide to an ideal weight gain for each stage of your pregnancy, based on this initial BMI.

 Stage of pregnancy


 Healthy weight range



BMI ranges

Less than 18.5kg/m2

18.5 - 24.9kg/m2

25 - 29.9kg/m2

Higher than 30kg/m2

0-12 weeks

Ideal weight gain

1 - 3 kg

Ideal weight gain

1 - 3 kg

Ideal weight gain

0 - 1 kg

Ideal weight gain

0 - 1 kg

13-27 weeks

5 - 7 kg

5 - 6 kg

3 - 5 kg

2 - 4 kg

28-42 weeks

6 - 8 kg

5 - 6 kg

4 - 5 kg

3 - 4 kg

Healthy total weight gain

12 - 18 kg

11 - 16 kg

7 - 11 kg

5 - 9 kg

Ways to help control excess weight gain

Pregnancy is a not a time for strict dieting, just sensible eating. If you are overweight you should not attempt a weight reduction diet during pregnancy. To help prevent excess weight gain, take regular gentle exercise and cut down on high fat and high sugar, energy dense foods and drinks.

  • eat fruit, salad, vegetables, low fat yoghurt or dry biscuits as alternative snacks
  • use low fat dairy products such as yoghurt, milk and cheese
  • trim all of the fat off your meat before cooking
  • drink water or plain mineral or soda water
  • eat less high energy snack foods such as chocolate, lollies, chips, cakes, health bars, biscuits, crisps etc.
  • reduce the amount of fat (e.g. margarine, butter or oil) you use in cooking and as a spread
  • The amount of extra food you need is small, so you don’t need to eat for two. Remember, women who gain excess weight during pregnancy are likely to remain overweight.

If you are seeking professional help to manage life style changes for healthy eating, ask at the hospital for a referral to a dietitian.

Find an accredited practising dietitian in your area via the Dietitians Association of Australia.


Last Modified: Wednesday, 24 July 2019