Baby Weight Breakdown

At the beginning of your pregnancy, you'll probably hear that the amount of weight gain during pregnancy should fall somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds for the average woman. But what makes up all that weight?

Pregnant woman weighing herself


No, you are not going to give birth to a 25- to 35-pound baby. Thank goodness! But your body is going to change and development to accommodate for your little bundle, which will weigh somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds at birth. The average baby's weight is about 7.5 pounds.

Placenta and uterus

The placenta develops during pregnancy, attaching itself to the top or side of the wall of your uterus to provide baby with oxygen and nutrients as well as remove waste from your baby's blood. The placenta will account for about 1.5 pounds of your pregnancy weight gain. The uterus also expands during pregnancy, accounting for about two pounds.

Blood, amniotic sac and other fluids

Your blood volume increases during pregnancy to allow extra blood flow to the uterus and to meet baby's metabolic needs. That extra blood accounts for about four pounds of your pregnancy weight. The amniotic sac, which envelopes the baby during his stay in the womb and provides him a safe place to grow and move during pregnancy, weighs about two pounds. Other bodily fluids account for another four pounds.

Protein, fat and nutrients

Your body stores about seven pounds of protein, fat and nutrients during pregnancy. Remember that what you eat will not only become nutrients for your changing body but your baby's as well. Most of what you eat should be nutrient dense, with a few splurges now and then to satiate those pregnancy cravings!


Your breasts enlarge during pregnancy — and about two pounds of your pregnancy weight gain can actually be blamed on your boobies! Your breasts start growing (and become sore) in the first trimester thanks to increased levels of estrogen and progesterone.

Weight gain relief

Try not to focus on the number on the scale during your pregnancy unless your doctor has specifically asked you to monitor your weight gain. Stay healthy by eating nutritious foods and maintaining a doctor-approved exercise routine. Walking, practicing yoga and swimming are great pregnancy workouts. If you do have concerns about the amount of weight you are (or are not) gaining during your pregnancy, talk to your doctor right away.

More on pregnancy changes, weight gain and more

Dealing with disappointment during pregnancy
Dealing with pregnancy weight gain
What kind of exercise is okay during pregnancy?


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