9. Weight Gain in Pregnancy

  1. Emma Derbyshire BSc, PhD, RNutr

Published Online: 6 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444344790.ch9

Nutrition in the Childbearing Years

Nutrition in the Childbearing Years

How to Cite

Derbyshire, E. (2011) Weight Gain in Pregnancy, in Nutrition in the Childbearing Years, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, West Sussex, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444344790.ch9

Author Information

  1. Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Human Nutrition, Manchester Metropolitan University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 OCT 2011
  2. Published Print: 30 SEP 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444333053

Online ISBN: 9781444344790



  • weight gain;
  • multiple foetuses;
  • weight retention;
  • weight loss interventions;
  • weight management


It is important that women are aware of ‘how much’ weight to gain during pregnancy. Failure to gain weight within recommended guidelines (11.5–16 kg for women with a normal pre-pregnancy weight) may affect the short- and long-term health of both mother and child. Inadequate levels of weight gain may increase the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery and delivering small-for-gestational-age (SGA)/low birth weight babies. Equally, surplus weight gain can increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, delivering by elective surgery and giving birth to large-for-gestational-age (LGA) infants, or infants with congenital abnormalities. Government agencies and healthcare providers need to express the importance of attaining a healthy body weight upon conception. Women need to be guided about ‘how much’ weight to gain throughout the course of pregnancy and how this can be achieved safely. Clinicians, dieticians and nutritionists can play a key role in helping to disseminate this important information to women of childbearing age and pregnant mothers.