Pregnancy & Weight Gain
A new study from the CDC found that almost half of American women are gaining too much weight during their pregnancies.
Those who are overweight or obese before becoming pregnant are the most likely ones to add too many pounds once they become pregnant.
The recommendation of the Institute of Medicine says that women with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range (18.5 – 24.9) gain 25 – 35 pounds during the course of their pregnancy. Women who are underweight (BMI below 18.5) should try to gain 28 – 40 pounds over their pregnancy. Women who are overweight (BMI 25 – 29.9) should gain 15 – 25 pounds over their pregnancy. Obese women (BMI 30+) should gain 11 – 20 pounds during their pregnancy.
Nation wide women gained an excess of weight during pregnancy by 47.5%. In CA 44.4% of women gained over the recommended amount of weight. It is also a problem across the BMI spectrum with those having a higher BMI also gaining extra weight in higher percentages of women (61.6% of women with an overweight BMI).
Hitting the right amount of weight gain is important for the mother, and baby. If you gain too little weight you can put the baby at risk for having a low birth rate. This is associated with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity in their future.
Moms who gain too much weight have babies with a higher risk of developing childhood obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Recommendations: Start tracking your diet, exercise, and weight gain early. Eating for two is not necessary, in most cases, until the second trimester. Try to get 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity because proper exercise is very important for pregnant women. Physical activity is safe and recommended for most pregnant women and may reduce some pregnancy related complications.
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Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.
LA Times “Pregnancy and Weight” – Karen Kaplan