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Pregnancy Weight Guidelines Updated

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Friday, May 29, 2009 12:41 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Protecting Your Family, Women's Health, Obesity, Pregnancy, Overweight, Healthy Living, Birth Injury


IMAGE SOURCE: iStockphoto / pregnant woman / author: Aldomurillo

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has issued new pregnancy weight guidelines for the first time since 1990. And in that time, America’s obesity boom has steadily grown.

There have been significant changes in the population of women having babies and more research has been conducted to analyze the effects of weight gain in pregnancy - on both mother and baby.

According to the IOM, American women have become a more diverse group; they tend to be older when entering pregnancy and having twin and triplet pregnancies. A greater percentage of women tend to be overweight or obese pre-pregnancy, and as a result are gaining too much weight during the pregnancy.

The new guidelines are based on revised Body Mass Index (BMI) categories that now include a recommendation for obese women. Below are the recommended weight gain ranges women should meet.

New Pregnancy Recommendations:

-- Normal Weight – BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 – should gain 25 to 35 pounds.

-- Underweight – BMI less than 18.5 – should gain 28 to 40 pounds.

-- Overweight – BMI of 25 to 29.99 should gain 15 to 25 pounds.

-- Obese – BMI greater than 30 should limit weight gain to 11 to 20 pounds.

Pregnant women who gain too much weight face a host of health factors, including a greater likelihood of needing a Caesarean section. While the risk for baby is being born too large which can result in birth injury. The burden of chronic disease is also another risk.

It is important to note, the new guidelines do NOT advise women to lose weight while pregnant. Women should gain weight during pregnancy but don’t need to gain an unlimited amount of weight that will be harder to lose later. #

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