Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

It's Safe For Obese Moms-to-be To Lose Weight During Pregnancy, New Research Finds

Date:
June 6, 2007
Source:
Saint Louis University
Summary:
New research finds doctors should encourage most overweight women to diet and exercise during pregnancy. The new research flies in the face of the "eat for two" and "take it easy" advice that obstetricians gave to a past generation of moms-to-be.

Most women who are obese can safely exercise and diet to lose weight during pregnancy, according to a small pilot study conducted by Saint Louis University researchers.

"Doctors hadn't encouraged pregnant women who were obese to limit their weight gain or have them lose weight because they were afraid it would hurt the baby," says Raul Artal, M.D., principal investigator and chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at Saint Louis University.

"We found that obese women do not have to gain any weight, and, in fact, can lose weight and it won't hurt the baby. Pregnancy is an ideal time to start an exercise and fitness program, particularly for women who are obese."

Dr. Artal is an internationally recognized expert who has conducted extensive research on exercise during pregnancy and is the lead author of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' current guidelines on exercise for pregnant women.

The new research flies in the face of the "eat for two" and "take it easy" advice that obstetricians gave to a past generation of moms-to-be.

"There are so many more obese women and men. We are witnessing an epidemic of overweight and obesity," Dr. Artal says. "Pregnancy seems to be an ideal time for behavior modification."

Pregnant women are more likely to regularly see a doctor and tend to be highly motivated to make lifestyle changes that protect the health of their babies, he added.

For this study, Dr. Artal and his colleagues examined two groups of pregnant women who were obese and had gestational diabetes, a condition common in about 7 percent of all pregnancies. Of the 96 women studied, 39 dieted and exercised to control their weight and 57 followed the diet routinely given to patients who have gestational diabetes.

Those who exercised were supervised riding a semi-recumbent stationary cycle or walking on a treadmill at least once a week. They also were encouraged to maintain an exercise routine the other six days of the week. Half of the women in the group that exercised said they worked out for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week, which is the recommended exercise guideline for the non-pregnant population.

Significantly more women who exercised and dieted either lost or maintained their weight than women in the group that followed the standard diabetic diet, the study found.

Findings suggest the babies born to women who lost or maintained their weight were more likely to be of normal size. Infants born to women who gained weight were more likely to be bigger -- 8 pounds, 8 ounces and heavier.

More women who gained weight during pregnancy delivered their babies by Caesarian section than those who lost or kept their weight constant.

Limiting weight gain of obese women during pregnancy could have future health benefits for the moms, Dr. Artal says. They will retain less weight from the pregnancy, which decreases the incidence of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related health problems.

Dr. Artal stressed that doctors and other health care providers need to do more in educating women, particularly those who are overweight or obese, about the importance of eating healthy and limiting the amount of weight they gain during pregnancy, and added a larger study is needed.

The research appears in the June issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, which is published by Canada's National Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University. "It's Safe For Obese Moms-to-be To Lose Weight During Pregnancy, New Research Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070605185550.htm>.
Saint Louis University. (2007, June 6). It's Safe For Obese Moms-to-be To Lose Weight During Pregnancy, New Research Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070605185550.htm
Saint Louis University. "It's Safe For Obese Moms-to-be To Lose Weight During Pregnancy, New Research Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070605185550.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins