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Healthy pregnancy weight gain difficult for dieters

It’s a difficult issue – maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy.

There was a time was when doctors were mainly concerned about women being underweight during pregnancy. Nowadays, the concerns go in the opposite direction as trends towards women tipping the scales during pregnancy.

A new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina suggests that women with history of unhealthy weight control strategies (e.g. dieting) before pregnancy are the ones most likely to run into weight problems during pregnancy. Based on survey of 1233 women, the study results suggests that women who are prone to dieting though not overweight before pregnancy have a higher likelihood of gaining excessive weight during their gestation period. On the other hand, those dieters who were underweight right before pregnancy may actually have problems gaining weight.

The authors suggest that these women who were dieters or had history of dieting before conception should be given special nutritional counseling during pregnancy to help them gain and maintain a healthy weight based on their pre-pregnancy weights.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends:

  • for women with a normal weight during pregnancy – weight gain of 25 to 37 lbs
  • for women who were underweight – weight gain of 28 to 40 lbs.
  • for women who were overweight – weight gain of 15 to 25 lbs

In case, pregnancy weights should be clearly discussed with your obstetrician. Maintaining a healthy gestational weight can prevent a lot of pregnancy complications!


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