This increases risks for baby and mother, experts say
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Tara Haelle
"This is a concern because gaining too much weight has health consequences for both mothers and infants," said study co-author Andrea Sharma, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Maternal and Infant Health Branch.
Some weight gain might result from misconceptions, said Dr. Karen Cooper, an obstetrician/gynecologist and director of the Cleveland Clinic's Be Well Moms program.
"Most women feel that pregnancy is the time when weight does not matter and it is an opportunity to eat as much as desired," said Cooper, who was not involved with the new study. "Most believe the myth that the weight will be lost quickly and easily after delivery."
For the study, published in the April print issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, Sharma's team analyzed information on more than 44,000 women who gave birth to a single full-term baby in 2010 or 2011. The women were from 28 states.
Women were classified based on their body mass index (BMI), a ratio of height to weight. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered normal weight; below 18.5 is underweight, between 25 and 30 is overweight, and over 30 is obese. Those with the greatest obesity had a BMI of 35 or greater.
Whether women gained too little, too much or just the right amount of weight during pregnancy depended largely on their pre-pregnancy weight, the researchers found.
One in five gained too little weight during their pregnancy, and just 32 percent gained an amount that fell within the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine. Slightly more than 47 percent of the women gained excessive weight, according to the study authors.
Institute of Medicine guidelines recommend gaining 25 to 35 pounds if normal weight at the start of pregnancy; 28 to 40 pounds if underweight; 15 to 25 pounds if overweight; and 11 to 20 pounds if obese at the start of pregnancy.
source : Many Women Gain Too Much Weight While Pregnant, Study Finds