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May 29, 2009

New Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines: How Many Pounds Should You Put On?

Yesterday, the Institute of Medicine released new weight gain guidelines for pregnant women, and it’s about time! The last ones were issued about 20 years ago.

What’s changed in the nearly two decades that have passed is that women in their childbearing years, are, on average, heavier than before.  Conceiving a child when you’re overweight may affect your health, and your child’s development. Getting pregnant when you’re underweight can have similar effects.

The new guidelines are like the old ones in one major way: they base suggested pregnancy weight gain on pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI).  If your body mass is higher, then you should put on fewer pregnancy pounds. Women on the lower end of the BMI scale should gain more.

Many women struggle with the thought of putting on pregnancy pounds, while others eat with reckless abandon when expecting a child.  It’s important to find a weight gain balance that is right for you.

Check out the details of the new pregnancy weight gain guidelines in a WebMD.com article I wrote here.