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How Much Weight Do Plus Size Pregnant Women Gain?

You might be wondering how much weight do plus size pregnant women gain?

You could ask twenty-five women how much weight they gained during pregnancy, and they’d probably each give a different answer. And while talking about weight is never fun, this is an important conversation we need to have during pregnancy.

Weight Gain Recommendations During Pregnancy When You're Plus Size

In 2009, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) changed its guidelines for pregnancy weight gain.

“Overweight women carrying a single fetus are advised to gain a total of 15–25 lbs. during pregnancy (compared with 25–35 lbs. for normal-weight women). Obese women are advised to gain less: 11–20 lbs.”

Most often, people with a BMI over 30 are encouraged not to gain more than 15 lbs. And, it can be pretty discouraging for a plus size person to hear this limitation. It can be tempting to start dieting to prevent weight gain during pregnancy. However, dieting and restricting food isn't the answer. It never is!

If someone hasn't already worked on changing their relationship with food and practicing Intuitive Eating, pregnancy is an incredible time to start.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also recommends that people with a BMI over 30 connect with a nutritionist during pregnancy. We highly encourage people to work with a Health At Every Size® aligned nutritionist.

It's common for plus size people who are proactive with their nutrition and physical activity not to gain a lot of weight during pregnancy. Some even lose weight gradually over time – but remember, weight loss shouldn't be a focus during pregnancy; it just might be a byproduct of healthy habits.

So, that goal of limiting weight gain to 15 lbs during pregnancy isn't as unobtainable as it may seem.

You might be wondering what the reasoning is for weight gain restrictions during a plus size pregnancy? Studies find limiting weight gain during pregnancy decreases people's risks of cesarean birth and having a baby that's large for gestational age.

In addition to focusing on nutrition and physical activity, it's critical to work with a size friendly healthcare provider. A size-friendly OB-GYN or midwife talks about sensitive topics, like weight, with compassion.

You also have options around being weighed!

Consider standing backward on the scale. It might feel silly at first, but you'll get used to it quickly. Plus, know this is something many people do, but it doesn't get talked about often. ⁠⁠
If you don't want to stand on the scale when you first get called back, you can say you'd like to wait until you're ready. The same goes for having your blood pressure taken! ⁠⁠
Two other options are to weigh yourself at home. Then say that number out loud or have it written down to share when it's time to have your weight measured. The second option is refusing to be weighed, and that's your right.
You might get some pushback with those last two options. So, it's critical to have an open and honest conversation with your care provider. ⁠⁠

If your provider addresses concerns about weight gain during pregnancy, it’s important to listen and be proactive. If you disagree, then speak up or seek a second opinion.

How Much Weight Do Plus Size Women Gain During Pregnancy?

One hundred people from the Plus Mommy Facebook page were asked how much weight they gained during pregnancy.

Below you'll see their answers.

Pregnancy Weight Gain - 1
Doc Advice - 2

So to answer the question we posed, how much weight do plus size pregnant women gain? The answer isn't an exact amount. As long as you are making healthy choices throughout your pregnancy, most often, your body is going to gain what it needs to do to grow a baby.

Jen McLellan, CBE
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Monday 2nd of August 2021

My doctor told me at my first appointment (8 weeks) that I should gain 0 lbs. I kind of expected her to say 10-20 lbs, but not 0. Zero seems unrealistic. Of course I'm going to keep eating healthy, exercise, and do my best to maintain my weight over the next 30 weeks. But I am also not going to beat myself up if I gain 10-20 lbs.


Saturday 14th of August 2021

Hi Emily, I'd really encourage you to have an open and honest conversation about these concerns with your care provider. Also, to ask what other testing and restrictions they might recommend due to your weight. Then decide if they are the right fit for you still. Wishing you all the best!


Tuesday 22nd of May 2018

I got scolded by my doctors with all of my babies (Baby 1 = 55 lbs., Baby 2 = 50 lbs. and I even tried not to gain weight, Baby 3 = 22 lbs.) I'm on my fourth baby. I'm 30 weeks. I gained 15 lbs already and got scolded for it today. I have always had health babies and pregnancies without any complications. I don't trust their weight restrictions. I would rather follow my bodies natural instinct because not every pregnancy will be the same. says all the wight gain is from: "1.5 pounds: the placenta 7 pounds: maternal stores of fat, protein, and other nutrients 7.5 pounds: your average full-term baby 2 pounds: breast tissue (we know it feels like so much more!) 4 pounds: increased fluid volume 4 pounds: increased blood volume 2 pounds: the uterus 2 pounds: amniotic fluid Total = 30 pounds" Doctors don' t make sense when you take these numbers into account.


Monday 27th of June 2016

I don't really consider any of that nonsense doctors say, there are to many variables to consider for each individual to truly have an objective and accurate opinion. When doctors start pulling out charts and all that crap I immediately ask for the medical research used to comprise the "all knowing chart" they are using to asses me. I also ask if they know the demographics and characteristics of the people used when making the "all knowing chart". If I look it up and see that the typical variables of the groups used to create the chart are white women between the aged of 18-26 I will tell them they are conducting malpractice. because i do not fit any of those characteristics, there for the "all knowing chart" does not apply to me. And I would say ALOT more.


Saturday 25th of October 2014

Hi im currently pregnant with triplets six month and have gained ninety pounds and currently in bed rest and I was wondering has anyybody else gained this much I used towiegh 110 lbs 5'1 and I wanted to share some of the struggles

. Water Issues I offen wake up and find myself soaked so a week ago I decided to buy maternity diapers which are so fing ugly honestly though there so comfortable I woke up one day and all I wore was that. They are a great choice and If you cant find maternity diapers try adult diapers,

Boobs, butt In my early stages I realized most wieght was going to my boobs and thighs and at first it was woderful but in my second month they got itchy and they started to grow hair. Also there so sore and right now I am wearing a size I never even heard of maternity heaavy duty they also now spit out unpleasant suprises. Now onto your butt I never used to have a huge butt I had a sexy butt but never huge I had seen rapid growth since a few months ago and last ime i looked in the mirror I cried because of it its now just flab it used to be firm juicy nw its fat and squishy.

Vagina it grows hair more than usaul you cant shave it because you honestly dont know were it is any more you can feel the bloodressure and it feels like some body punched you again and again for the last five onths of your pregnancy. It also swells up and it has no control of what comes out.

Clothing it sucks that you have to go into a maternity store in the first place no that you have to ask to be fitted thats another thing first of all they strip you down to under garments in the back and brin out the tape and you know its not going to be good. I once went in recently and no one was availible so I brought in ten different sizes and got suck in he first one and couldnt walk so I called my husband who found me undressed with pants cutting of my circulatiol. Also dont ask them for under garments you dont want to know.

Belly I once walked in to my house and I couldnt reach my shoes or my dropped keys so i was stuck with my diapers in hand out in the street. You also cant get off the coach and forget about having a blanket also just a hint never ever run with your flabby body it causes sagging and looks from wierdos oh yeah say goodbye to the good girl image I was nice im twenty six never had sex before got knocked u with triplets first time now everybody knows I had sex before I was married which Im going to havee next week while pregnant ai know maternity wedding dress with diapers I am taking a honey moon to the carrribean where I am going to have to wear a bbikini because my belly is not a size i hope nobody sees my strech marks.

What glow I am pale as ever

My face its unrecongizable its all smushed up and saggy I have two chins I am going to ban pictures from my wedding also say goodbye to all your shoes your feet are so fat im literaly watching my stomach growel and stretching my feet out so I can see them I think I am never going to get pregnant again.

I hope I can tell you this without oh crap I literally just peed oh that was embarrasing my husband just saw me wet my diaper and is offering to change get away Im typing ok oh my god he just embarassed me so much he just took a picture. But anyways you over react to everything.

Triple everything including stretch marks and orgasms we have sex somehow I am usauly doing some wierd pose that I read about but my ffavorite is were Im on top or im sitting down and hes just doing all the work well most sex is just dick in vagina but I will tell you something it hurts but its worth it you get treated like a princess well this is the end hope your preganancy isnt as worse as mine oh god I just peed again okay now I do need a change god I cant reach oh I need my husband or fiance by the way ask him this if you change me we can have sex It always works.

Size Zero Patch

Thursday 24th of July 2014

In general, you should gain about 2 to 4 pounds during the first three months you're pregnant and 1 pound a week during the rest of your pregnancy. If you are expecting twins you should gain 35 to 45 pounds during your pregnancy. This would be an average of 1 ½ pounds per week after the usual weight gain in the first three months.