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Study Says Obese Women Should Not Gain Weight During Pregnancy

pregnancy-weightA study conducted in several hospitals examined whether obese women need additional weight gain during pregnancy.  It’s been recommended for years by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that pregnant women of normal weight gain 25-35 pounds, underweight women gain 28-40 pounds, overweight women gain 15-25 pounds, and obese women gain at least 15 pounds. These numbers are based on an individual basis, but those are the basic pregnancy weight gain guidelines to protect and ensure proper fetal development, nutrition, and increase chances of having a healthy pregnancy and delivery.  However, this new study sheds an interesting light on this.

The researchers followed 232 obese pregnant women, in which they were placed into one of two groups.  The control group received conventional prenatal nutritional guidelines to “eat to appetite” while the other half in the second group received a well-balanced, nutritionally monitored program including keeping a daily food diary

The researchers found that the control group on the conventional pregnancy diet plan:

  • gained more weight (31 pounds)
  • gave birth to heavier babies (babies weighing more then 10 pounds impose complications for baby and mother during birth)

While the study’s nutritionally monitored group:

  • gained less weight (11 pounds)
  • a few extremely obese individuals actually lost weight
  • had no fetal deaths
  • no growth-restricted infants
  • had fewer babies weighing more than 10 pounds
  • were less likely to develop gestational diabetes
  • retained less weight after delivering their babies compared to the control group

Ultimately, the researchers were able to conclude that “obese women may be placed on healthy, well-balanced, monitored nutritional programs without having adverse maternal-fetal outcomes.”

This information is very interesting and gives good insight to proper nutrition and having a healthy pregnancy.  The biggest and most important factor is making sure that the child is receiving optimal nutrition, so speak with your doctor or registered dietitian to determine what a proper, well-balanced, nutritionally monitored diet includes and how you can begin your path in that direction.

June 2nd, 2009

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