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Overweight and Obese Women Should Scale Back Weight Gain During Pregnancy

by Alexandra Williams, MA on Mar 28, 2013

Food for Thought

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has come out with recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy based on the mother’s body mass index and on updated tables from the Institute of Medicine. For overweight women with a BMI of 25–29.9, ACOG recommends a total weight gain of 15–25 pounds. For obese women (BMI 30 or higher), the guideline is 11–20 pounds. ACOG does not differentiate between grade I, grade II and grade III obesity (BMI of 30–34.9; 35–39.9; and 40 or higher, respectively). The weight gain recommendations are predicated on determining a woman’s BMI at the initial prenatal visit.

ACOG also emphasizes the need to individualize weight plans based on the health of both the mother and the growing fetus, especially in cases where the mother could be advised (or wants) to lose weight during her pregnancy.

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About the Author

Alexandra Williams, MA

Alexandra Williams, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Alexandra Williams, MA, is a contributing editor for IDEA Fitness Journal and co-owner of the Fun & Fit blog, column and radio show with her twin sister. Certified since 1986, Alexandra currently teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and for Spectrum Clubs. She loves to write, emcee and edit, especially in a humorous fashion. She can be reached at