Maternal Weight and Pregnancy Complications

Maintaining a healthy weight is critical for pregnant clients.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Sep 23, 2019

Encourage your pregnant clients (if cleared by their doctors) to keep working out with you. A new study shows that maintaining a healthy weight before and during pregnancy is a key factor in avoiding pregnancy complications.

The China-based study, which included 18,481 pregnant women, linked obesity during early pregnancy with a higher risk of spontaneous abortion, preterm birth and large birth weight in newborns. Also of note, risks of early neonatal death and low birth weight are higher for mothers who are underweight during pregnancy.

The study appeared in Obesity (2019; 27 [6], 1030–36).


Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at

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