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Weight Gain During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, you should consume a balanced diet, have regular physical exercise, and maintain an appropriate and gradual weight gain.

  • In the first trimester (up to 13 weeks), there is little weight gain. The total weight gain ranges from 0.5 to 2.0 kg

  • In the second and third trimester (14th to 40th week), the average weekly weight gain ranges from 0.4 to 0.5 kg

How much weight should I put on?

The recommended weight gain during pregnancy is related to your BMI just before pregnancy. Your pre-pregnant BMI is calculated by: Your weight before pregnancy (kg)÷Height (m)÷Height (m)

*Source: Wong W, et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2000:100; 791-796. It applies to women expecting one baby.

Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Excessive weight gain may have the following consequences:

Q: What do I do if I put on weight too quickly?

  • Cut down on intake of food high in fats and sugars to reduce calorie intake

  • You should have physical exercise for at least 30 minutes a day

  • Drink water instead of sweetened drinks

  • Cut back on cakes, pastries, crisp, cookies, chocolate, candies, ice-cream and other desserts

  • Limit deep-fried foods including French fries, potato chips and instant noodles

  • Opt for low-fat/skimmed dairy products

  • Trim the fat on meat and remove skin from poultries

  • Use low fat cooking methods: steaming, boiling, baking, grilling, light stir-frying

Poor Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Poor weight gain during pregnancy may result in poor foetal growth, low birth weight and increase the health risk in the child's later life.

Q: What do I do if my weight gain is slow?

During the first trimester, it is normal that there is little weight gain. Some may have a mild weight loss due to a poor appetite and morning sickness. To ensure adequate intake, one can eat smaller meals and have regular snacks. Choose nutritious foods for snacks, e.g. a sandwich of whole-meal bread, dried fruits or nuts. Maintain adequate fluid intake. Appetite and weight gain will be generally improved in the second trimester.

Poor weight gain in the later half of pregnancy may indicate that the foetus is not growing normally. In depth assessment is necessary.

Q: I was already overweight before pregnancy. What can I do?

You should not try to lose weight during pregnancy. This brings harm to yourself and your foetus. Changing some of the habits is helpful:

  • Eat regularly and adopt a balanced. Include grains, vegetables, fruits, meat and alternatives, and milk products in your meals.

  • Consume whole grain foods and eat more vegetables

  • Reduce intake of empty calories, including junk snacks, soft drinks or other foods high in fats or sugars

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, such as engaging in brisk walk, swimming, etc. This helps control your weight


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