Too many women gain too much weight during pregnancy, CDC says

pregnant woman eats for two, as the saying goes. But in the United States, a lot of them are eating for three or more.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that nearly half of the pregnant women in American gain too much weight during their pregnancies. Women who are overweight or obese before they become pregnant are most likely to add too many additional pounds during those crucial nine months.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that women with a body mass index in the normal range (between 18.5 and 24.9) gain 25 to 35 pounds during the course of a pregnancy. Women who start out underweight (with a BMI below 18.5) should put on 28 to 40 pounds while pregnant; women who are overweight should add 15 to 25 pounds; and obese women should gain only 11 to 20 pounds during their pregnancies, the guidelines say.

For their study, researchers from the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health examined birth certificates from 46 states plus the District of Columbia. That gave them information on the mothers’ height and weight before and after their pregnancies. The researchers focused their analysis on singleton births that were carried to full term (at least 37 weeks of gestation). Their final data set covered nearly 80% of all pregnant women in America.

In every single state examined, the number of pregnant women who gained too much weight was higher than the number who gained too little or the right amount, the researchers found.

Nationwide, 47.5% of women had excessive weight gain during their pregnancies, with individual states ranging from a low of 38.2% in New Jersey to a high of 54.7% in Missouri. But Missouri wasn’t that much of an outlier — in 17 states, more than half of pregnant women gained too much weight. (In California, the figure was 44.4%).


Read more about it on The Las Angelus Times here: