More than two-thirds of pregnant women in the U.S. either gain too much or too little weight during pregnancy, according to a study in MMWR.
Using data from birth certificates and the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System for full-term singletons born in 2012 or 2013, researchers calculated mothers’ prepregnancy body mass index and weight gained during pregnancy.
The Institute of Medicine recommends a gain of 28 to 40 pounds during pregnancy for underweight women, 25 to 35 pounds for normal-weight women, 15 to 25 pounds for overweight women, and 11 to 20 pounds for obese women. Based on these recommendations, weight gained was considered appropriate in 32% of pregnancies, inadequate in 20%, and excessive in 48%. Women who were overweight or obese before pregnancy had the highest prevalence of excessive gain, whereas those who were underweight before pregnancy had the highest prevalence of inadequate gain.
The authors recommend interventions to promote appropriate weight gain, including calculating BMI at first prenatal visit and counseling on diet and physical activity.