News on healthy weight gain during pregnancy

Weight Gain Pregnancy has a chart mapping out how much weight a woman should throughout her pregnancy (week by week). This may be a good guide for the average woman, but experts say that how much you should gain really depends on your body type. In order to have a  healthy pregnancy, for example, a very thin woman would need to gain more than a woman who is overweight. According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the guidelines for proper pregnancy weight gain:

  • Underweight: 28 to 40 pounds
  • Normal weight: 25 to 35
  • Overweight: 15-25 pounds
  • Obese: 15 pounds
  • The OC Register cites a Harvard study, which found that women who gained the most weight were more likely to have an overweight child a few years later. In the study, about half of the women gained excessive weight, and many were overweight before pregnancy.

    But this doesn’t mean pregnant woman should take to dieting and cutting calories! Pamela Pimentel, a registered nurse who heads Maternal Outreach Management System fears that if pregnant women start to diet it could result in low-birth-weight babies with serious health problems.

    She said it’s the women who eat junk food during pregnancy who end up with overweight children, not necessarily the women who gain the most weight.  This seems logical: children model their parents’ behaviors. Genetics plays a role, but so does a parents initiative to instill good habits. If you eat right, it is much easier to get your kids to eat healthy food. If you lead an active lifestyle, your kids are more likely to be active as well. 

    “If you see a mom who gains weight [by eating junk food] you can bet she’s going to feed her kids the same way she fed them in utero,” Pimentel said. “It’s not so much the actual pounds during pregnancy but what put on the weight. I do think we have a rising problem of obesity in children, but I’m worried it’s one more thing for a pregnant woman to start worrying about.”

    Bottom line: It’s not so much how much weight you gain, it’s the way in which you gain it! As long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle, including excercize and good eating habits, you really should have nothing to fear from the doctor’s scale, or for your children’s future.

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