As OBGYNs, it's our job to promote health for all women, including expectant mothers and the babies they carry. Pregnant women are often concerned with the topic of weight gain (or weight loss) during pregnancy, and we wanted to address this important issue. Here is some great information from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on weight and pregnancy.
How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?
The amount of weight gain that is recommended depends on your health and your body mass index (BMI) before you were pregnant. A BMI chart can be found above. If you were a normal weight before pregnancy, you should gain between 25 pounds and 35 pounds during pregnancy. If you were underweight before pregnancy, you should gain more weight than a woman who was a normal weight before pregnancy. If you were overweight or obese before pregnancy, you should gain less weight.
Can being overweight or obese affect my pregnancy?
Overweight and obese women are at an increased risk of several pregnancy problems. These problems include gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and cesarean delivery. Babies of overweight and obese mothers also are at greater risk of certain problems, such as birth defects, macrosomia with possible birth injury, and childhood obesity.
Here is a glossary to help you understand the terms in the questions:
Body Mass Index: A number calculated from height and weight that is used to determine whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.
Cesarean Delivery: Delivery of a baby through surgical incisions made in the mother’s abdomen and uterus.
Gestational Diabetes: Diabetes that arises during pregnancy.
Macrosomia: A condition in which a fetus grows very large.
Preeclampsia: A condition of pregnancy in which there is high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
Preterm: Born before 37 weeks of pregnancy.