As a Dietitian, this is a common question asked by many of my pregnant clients. The truth is – the extra weight gained in pregnancy goes to many places in the body.
Gaining weight is an expected and normal part of pregnancy, and sometimes it’s hard to know how much weight is a healthy amount to gain. Here’s a breakdown of where the weight goes during pregnancy:
- Baby 7-8 lbs (3.5-4 kg). Average size of a healthy baby.
- Placenta 1-2 lbs (0.5-1 kg). A pregnancy organ to help feed the baby and remove baby’s waste.
- Uterus 3 lbs (1.5 kg). The place where the baby grows. Also called the womb.
- Amniotic Fluid 2 lbs (1 kg). The liquid in which the baby floats in the womb.
- Breasts 1-2 lbs (0.5-1 kg). Increase in size to prepare for breastfeeding the baby.
- Blood volume 3-4 lbs (1-2 kg). Blood increases to help bring food and air to the baby.
- Extra body fluids 4 lbs (2 kg). Fluid increases to help support the baby’s growth.
- Energy stores 6-8 lbs (3-4 kg). More fat to help support breastfeeding the baby.
It’s important to gain a healthy amount of weight in pregnancy. Eating healthy foods from “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide” and aiming to drink 10 cups of fluid daily can help you stay within the suggested amount of weight gain during pregnancy.
Do you sometimes worry about losing the extra weight after pregnancy? That’s normal too. Eating healthy and keeping active will help with maintaining a healthy weight. Talk to your dietitian and/or primary health care provider for more specific information about your weight gain in your pregnancy.
Have more questions about weight gain in pregnancy? Contact Toronto Public Health and speak directly with a health professional.