Overweight and Obese Women Should Scale Back Weight Gain During Pregnancy

By Alexandra Williams, MA
Mar 28, 2013

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.

Alexandra Williams, MA

Alexandra Williams, MA

Alexandra Williams has taught fitness for 17 years and has a master’s degree in agency counseling, with an emphasis on marriage and family. Her professional training has forced her to scrutinize her own value system, especially as she attempts to raise ethical children. The author wishes to thank Jack Raglin and Jim Gavin for their helpful insights and suggestions.

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