Pregnancy Weight Tied to Health Effects

Mother's weight during pregnancy may affect birth outcomes

(RxWiki News) Gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy may affect the baby's birth weight, risk for preterm birth and the likelihood of cesarean section (C-section) delivery, a new study found.

Among the more than 1.3 million pregnancies this research examined, 47 percent included gestational weight gain that was higher than established guidelines. Twenty-three percent included weight gain that was considered too low.

Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine suggest that normal-weight women should gain between 25.4 and 35.3 pounds during pregnancy. Underweight women should gain between 27.6 and 39.7 pounds; overweight women should gain between 15.4 and 24.3 pounds; and obese women should gain between 11 and 19.8 pounds, according to the guidelines.

This study found that women who gained less weight than recommended were more likely to have underweight or preterm babies. Women who gained more than the recommended amount were more likely to have a C-section or a baby with a high birth weight.

According to the authors of this study, some lifestyle changes during pregnancy could help control weight gain during pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider about healthy ways to control weight gain during pregnancy.

This study was published in JAMA.

Information on study funding sources and potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

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Review Date: 
June 14, 2017