Weight Guidelines May Be High for Severely Obese
FRIDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Current U.S. guidelines may
overestimate the amount of weight that severely obese women need to
gain during pregnancy, according to a new study.
Extremely obese women who gained less than the Institute of
Medicine-recommended amount of weight during the second and third
trimester of pregnancy suffered no ill effects, nor did their
babies, said the researchers at the University of Rochester Medical
Center in Rochester, N.Y.
However, obese and non-obese women who gained less than the
recommended amount of weight did experience problems, including a
higher likelihood of delivering a baby that is small for
The findings, scheduled to be presented Feb. 11 at the annual
meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, suggest a need
to reconsider weight-gain recommendations for the most obese
moms-to-be, the researchers said in a society news release.
The study included 73,977 women who gave birth to a single
child. Four percent of the women were underweight; 48 percent
normal weight; 24 percent overweight; 13 percent obese; 6 percent
severely obese; and 5 percent morbidly obese.
The researchers also found that women in all weight categories
who gained more weight than recommended in the second and third
trimesters were more likely to have a baby that is large for
In addition, overweight women who gained more than the
recommended amount during pregnancy were more likely to have
cesarean delivery, induced labor and gestational diabetes.
Experts note that research presented at meetings has not been
subjected to the same type of rigorous scrutiny given to research
published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers
a pamphlet about
nutrition during pregnancy.
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