Managing your weight in pregnancy

Managing weight

Your BMI calculation (height and weight ratio) when you are newly pregnant may highlight the need for some additional care or support during your pregnancy. This may include a referral to the Healthy Lifestyle Midwives who are based in the antenatal clinic.

The weight you put on includes your baby, the placenta, extra fluid in your bloodstream, water around your baby, your growing breasts, and some extra fat stores to protect your baby.

The important thing is to keep weight gain to a safe and healthy level for you and your baby. Your doctor or midwife may be able to advise you on what is right for you.

if your BMI is 30 or over:

Managing your weight is not about dieting or trying to lose weight.  It's about looking after yourself and your baby by eating healthily, keeping active and therefore not gaining excessive weight. 

It may also help reduce the risk of pregnancy complications for you, for example pregnancy diabetes and the likelihood of your baby being overweight during their lifetime.

During pregnancy you may need a little extra food, but only up to 200 extra calories a day and that is only in the last three months.

There are no UK national guidelines on how much weight you should put on during pregnancy, but there is evidence to show that gaining between 5-9kg, may reduce pregnancy complications for you and your baby.


Exercise during pregnancy is important for your health and your baby's health.  When you exercise, even doing something as simple as walking, oxygen flow to the placenta is improved and this helps the baby to grow and develop.

Slowly building up and/or maintaining your activity will make it easier to manage your weight during pregnancy and afterwards.

It will also  reduce the chances of you having complications like high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. This means less risk for the baby.  Some women are worried that exercise may cause miscarriage, but there is not evidence to support this.

If you weren’t very active before your pregnancy, don't worry. There are lots of small changes you can make to your everyday lifestyle to make a difference, for example by walking or accessing the aquanatal exercise classes across the borough, or by just increasing what you are already doing.

You should aim to build up to 30 minutes of exercise a day at least four times a week.

More information 

For further information, please contact us: 

Last updated: 20 October 2017 08:49:47