Obese women don't need to gain weight during pregnancy

October 4, 2007 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, Weight Management

Obese women don't need to gain weight during pregnancy

Most women are told that they should gain 20 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. However, that's not the case for obese women. According to new research from St. Louis University, obese women - that is, women with a BMI over 35 - should gain very little or no weight at all during pregnancy.

In this large study, over 120,000 obese expectant mothers were examined over a ten year period to determine how weight gain during pregnancy affects Cesarean delivery, birth weight and pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia is a potentially life-threatening condition which is characterized by sudden high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Obese expectant mothers who gained less than fifteen pounds during their pregnancy were significantly less likely to have a C-section, a "large for gestational age" baby, or pre-eclampsia. "Large for gestational age" babies often have complicated deliveries and are at risk for developing low blood sugar and other problems related to glucose regulation.

According to Statistic Canada, twenty-three percent of women of child-bearing age are obese. Instead of gaining the recommended 20 to 25 pounds, these women should try to minimize their weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

For more information on nutrition during pregnancy, see Leslie Beck's Nutrition Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.