As your belly (and other body parts) expand, you may be wondering how many pounds you’re going to pack on during your pregnancy.

Moms-to-be typically gain 3-5 pounds during the first trimester. For the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says the “ideal” amount of weight that you gain depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and your BMI (your body mass index).  

Check out the chart below to see which of ACOG’s 2nd and 3rd trimester weight gain recommendations apply to you. To calculate your BMI, go here.

Pre-Pregnancy WeightRecommended Weekly Weight Gain During the 2nd and 3rd Trimesters
(in pounds per week)
Total Recommended Weight Gain During Pregnancy
(in pounds)
(BMI <18.5)
Healthy Weight
(BMI 18.5-24.9)
(BMI 25-29.9)
(BMI 30+)

Source: Chart Partially Reproduced from ACOG’s Guidelines on Weight Gain During Pregnancy.

For those of you ready to hit the all-you-can-eat buffet after seeing the numbers above, you might want to slow your roll. 

Why? Because most pregnant women only need an extra 300 calories per day (think: a single chocolate croissant at Starbucks) to reach their target weight gain. 

Common Question:  Where Does All of the Weight Go?

Here are Some Ballpark Figures:

  • Baby: 7-8 pounds.
  • Boobs: 2 pounds (Wahoo!).
  • Uterus: 2 pounds.

    PediaTrivia: Did you know the uterus expands to 1,000 times its normal size during pregnancy?!1
  • Placenta: 1-2 pounds.
  • Amniotic Fluid: 2 pounds.
  • Increased Blood Volume: 4 pounds (Wow!).
  • Increased Fluid Volume: 2-3 pounds.
  • Fat Stores and Muscle Development: 6-8 pounds.

Grand Total: 26-31 pounds.

The Bottom Line

Gaining weight during pregnancy can be triggering for some women, especially for those who’ve struggled with (or currently struggle with) an eating disorder. Do your best to stay within the recommended weight gain parameters, but don’t obsess over them. Focus more on your health than on the number on the scale. And don’t forget to be kind to yourself and to listen to your body-it’s wise and will tell you what it needs.

Want More Info About Weight and Pregnancy? Get Wise about the Top 6 Questions that Women Tend to Ask About This Topic.