What Is the Ideal Weight for a Woman during Pregnancy?

What Is the Ideal Weight for a Woman during Pregnancy?
Marta Guzmán

Reviewed and approved by the nutritionist Marta Guzmán.

Last update: 01 March, 2023

Many women are concerned with maintaining the ideal weight during pregnancy, both for aesthetic and health reasons.

However, the weight that a woman should gain varies throughout her pregnancy.

For example, appetite is a variable that can cause weight fluctuations during pregnancy.

Let’s assume that a woman is at her ideal weight before getting pregnant. According to experts, she should gain between 11.5kg and 16kg during her pregnancy.

However, all women are unique, some gain less weight while others gain up to 18kg. The most important thing is to give birth to a healthy baby and return to your pre-pregnancy weight.

REMEMBER, women are different. Comparisons are not valid. Do not force your body to meet the expectations that you formed by looking at another woman. Always follow your doctor’s advice about your physical and analytical values.

Should I gain a kilogram every month?

There is a premise that states that pregnant women should gain one kilogram every month.

If this were true, then they should gain a total of 9kg throughout their whole pregnancy. But there are mothers who gain up to 18kg, which translates to gaining 2kg every month.

It all depends on the specific woman’s body as well as daily habits (food, exercise, etc).

In addition, if the woman suffers from a physical condition that makes her gain more or less weight, this will also affect how much weight is gained during the pregnancy.

Keep in mind that you should never starve yourself. If you’re craving food, eat. The consumption of sweets and carbohydrates should be done in moderation. As long as you’re staying healthy, there is no need to worry.

You shouldn’t be overwhelmed by trying to maintain an unrealistic figure.

Despite the fact that the media and society tend to have negative role models, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be harmed by them. We must follow our own rhythm, respecting our bodies and taking care of our health.

Pregnant women shouldn’t stop eating under any circumstance. Going hungry is completely contraindicated when it comes to pregnancy.

If you don’t eat enough, fat isn’t burned and as a result, ketone bodies are formed. Ketone bodies are toxic if they reach the baby and they can even damage their nervous system.

Ideal weight and diet

Keep in mind that it’s very important for pregnant women not to limit what they eat. Pregnancy isn’t the best time to diet. Pregnancy is a moment when women should choose what they eat wisely.

Eating plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables are recommended.

Don’t eat red meats excessively, they shouldn’t be consumed more than three times a week. White meats, however, are recommended during pregnancy.

It’s also important to ingest low-fat dairy products, olive oil, legumes, whole foods such as bread, cereals and rice instead of refined flour. Stay away from junk food.

Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.


Pregnant women shouldn’t be obsessed with the amount of weight being gained nor should they look to eat less. However, it should also not be seen as a period when women should gain weight excessively.

There are some women who take advantage of pregnancy and their increased appetite to enjoy dishes or recipes that aren’t recommended for them or their baby.

When people eat more than they need to, their adipocytes grow larger and larger which in turn increases the person’s size.

Some say that you can gain up to 4kg through a meal. Not only do the adipocytes grow, new cells are also formed.

Obviously, the more weight a mother gains from excess food, the harder it will be to lose that weight after childbirth.

Weight gain per trimester

  1. Only a little weight is gained during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is recommended that women gain between 0.5 and 1.5kg. There are women who don’t gain weight during this period and there are also a few who lose weight due to vomiting and nausea.
  2. Weight gain of between 3.5 to 4kg is recommended during the second trimester.
  3. The third trimester is when there is the most weight gain due to the fact that the fetus starts increasing in weight as well. Weight gain of between 5 to 5.5kg is recommended. This is equivalent to around 400 grams a week.

If I don’t eat a lot, will my baby be smaller?

The answer to this question is yes. If pregnant women limit their food intake and are lacking in nutrients, their child may weigh less after birth.

That’s why it’s recommended for pregnant women not to go hungry under any circumstances.

In the past decades, many thought that pregnant women had to eat for two. Surely, she has to eat for herself and her baby but this doesn’t mean that her diet should be multiplied by two.

If a pregnant woman decides to eat more with the intention of having a bigger baby, she should know that she’ll be the one who will carry those extra pounds, not the baby.

In conclusion, we’d like to remind you that the ideal weight DOES NOT exist. There is no standard that determines how everyone’s pregnancy should develop. The ideal weight is simply a concept our society invented.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Herring, S. J., & Oken, E. (2010). Ganancia de peso durante el embarazo: Su importancia para el estado de salud materno-infantil. Annales Nestlé (Ed. española)68(1), 17-28.
  • Rodríguez Domínguez, P. L., Hernández Cabrera, J., & Reyes Pérez, A. (2005). Bajo peso al nacer: Algunos factores asociados a la madre. Revista cubana de obstetricia y ginecología31(1), 0-0.
  • Alimentación y nutrición. Ediciones Roble, S.L

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.