Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Safe weight gain for heavier moms-to-be depends on level of obesity, study suggests

Date:
April 25, 2010
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
How much weight obese women should safely gain during pregnancy is often controversial, with current guidelines suggesting a single range of 11-20 pounds. A new study suggests instead that optimal weight gain for obese mothers-to-be depends on level of obesity. Also, weight loss or very minimal weight gain may be detrimental to newborn health, except in the case of extremely obese women.

How much weight obese women should safely gain during pregnancy is often controversial, with current guidelines suggesting a single range of 11 to 20 pounds. A new study, published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and the University of California, Berkeley, suggests instead that optimal weight gain for obese mothers-to-be depends on level of obesity. Also, weight loss or very minimal weight gain may be detrimental to newborn health, except in the case of extremely obese women.

The study, which included 5,500 obese pregnant women at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, investigated levels of gestational weight gain related to three adverse outcomes: babies born too small, too large or too early. The women in the study were stratified by level of obesity, or body mass index (BMI), and defined as class 1 (BMI 30 to 34.9), class 2 (BMI 35 to 39.9) and class 3 (BMI 40 and over).

Nearly 10 percent of the study participants lost weight during pregnancy. Weight loss was generally associated with an increased risk of preterm births and infants with restricted growth. For severely obese women, however, very minimal weight gain (less than 5 pounds) or weight loss was not detrimental to newborn health.

The study also found that women who gained a large amount of weight were at increased risk of pre-term births and infants who were overgrown, suggesting that very high weight gain also is related to adverse birth outcomes.

"Some clinicians have been pushing weight restriction for all classes of obese women," said Lisa M. Bodnar, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology, obstetrics and gynecology, University of Pittsburgh. "Our study indicates that a single standard for optimal weight gain for obese women may not fit the bill. Instead, we need to consider level of obesity and advise women accordingly."

The authors suggest the following pregnancy weight gain ranges to optimize birth outcomes: 20 to 30 pounds for class 1 women; 5 to 20 pounds for class 2 women and less than 10 pounds for class 3 women. Women who gain less than the suggested amounts can still have healthy pregnancies provided their dietary intake is being monitored to ensure proper nutrition, say the authors.

"Obese women may face increased complications of pregnancy," said Barbara Abrams, Dr.P.H., R.D., senior author of the study and professor of epidemiology, maternal and child health and public health nutrition, University of California, Berkeley. "Appropriate weight gain may lessen these risks for the baby, so we strongly encourage all obese women to receive nutrition and lifestyle counseling throughout their pregnancies."

In addition to Drs. Bodnar and Abrams, authors of the study include Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Ph.D., R.D., Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Hyagriv N. Simhan, M.D., and Katherine P. Himes, M.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Magee-Womens Research Institute.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. M. Bodnar, A. M. Siega-Riz, H. N. Simhan, K. P. Himes, B. Abrams. Severe obesity, gestational weight gain, and adverse birth outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010; DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.29008

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Safe weight gain for heavier moms-to-be depends on level of obesity, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422093536.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2010, April 25). Safe weight gain for heavier moms-to-be depends on level of obesity, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422093536.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Safe weight gain for heavier moms-to-be depends on level of obesity, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422093536.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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