Government issues new pregnancy weight guidelines - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/28/09

Government issues new pregnancy weight guidelines

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - How much weight should you gain when you are pregnant?  The government has set new guidelines for that and they say that it depends on what you weighed before you were pregnant. 

The Institute of Medicine says that women who start with a normal BMI (body mass index) should gain only 25-35 pounds, which is about a pound a week.  However, if you are normally underweight, you can gain a little more, and if you are overweight, a little less.  The guidelines say that if an obese woman gets pregnant she should gain no more than 20 pounds. 

The Institute says half the women in this country of childbearing age are already overweight and they are putting themselves and their babies at risk.  On the other hand, underweight babies can be born prematurely and develop birth defects.  The Institute says doctors need to counsel patients on an individual basis considering their weight before pregnancy.

The experts say part of the issue is that more women are becoming pregnant at older ages now, after already gaining weight and having developed chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease. 

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