Weight management FAQs

Everyone puts on weight in pregnancy, but limiting the amount of extra weight you gain will improve your health and your baby's, both now and in the future.

Managing your weight in pregnancy is not about dieting or trying to lose weight. It's about looking after yourself and your baby by eating healthily and staying active.

If you’re not pregnant yet, you can read our information about being overweight  or underweight  and planning a pregnancy.

Who should manage their weight during pregnancy?

Everyone! But it’s especially important to manage your weight during pregnancy if your body mass index (BMI) was 30 or higher, or lower than 18.5 before you became pregnant. Use our BMI calculator to find out what your current body mass index is.

Why is it important to manage my weight now I'm pregnant?

If you manage your weight by eating well and staying active, it can help you have a healthier pregnancy and a safer birth. It will also mean you reduce the risks of some health problems for you and your baby.

Read about making a weight management plan here

How much weight should I put on in pregnancy?

There are no official guidelines for how much weight women should gain in pregnancy because everyone is different. The most important thing is to keep your weight gain to a safe and healthy level for you and your baby.

Find out more about healthy weight gain in pregnancy.

What is pregnancy weight gain made up of?

There are several different things that contribute to the weight you put on when you are pregnant. These include:

  • your baby
  • the placenta
  • the amniotic fluid (the water surrounding your baby)
  • your growing breasts
  • the increased blood you need
  • extra fat stores
  • natural fluid retention.

These changes in your body, such as extra fat and increased blood volume, are important for the health of your baby and the pregnancy. This is not the time for dieting. If you're worried about putting on weight, remember that you will lose a lot of it with the birth of your baby and the placenta. Breastfeeding can also help with weight loss.

If you eat a balanced amount of different foods and stay active, it’ll be easier to control your weight gain in pregnancy. It will also make it easier for you to lose any extra weight after you give birth.

Can I try to lose weight while I’m pregnant?

Don't try to lose weight while you're pregnant as this is not healthy for you or your baby. If you have a high BMI, the health professionals looking after you will be aware of this and will help you take steps to eat well and reduce the risks to you and your baby.

So what do I do if I’m underweight or overweight when I’m pregnant?

Lots of women are concerned about their weight during pregnancy, but there are plenty of things you can do to manage this.

Find out more about being underweight or overweight  in pregnancy and how to make a weight management plan.

Read more about weight management

Sources

NICE Guidelines (2010) Weight management before, during and after pregnancy National Institute for Health and Care Excellence https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph27

 

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Last reviewed on October 25th, 2018. Next review date October 25th, 2021.

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