Excess pregnancy weight gain tied to risk for delivery complications, study says

Excess pregnancy weight gain tied to risk for delivery complications, study says (foxnews.com)

[Fox News, 3/15/19]  Women who gain more weight than recommended while pregnant may increase their chances for serious complications at delivery, a study of more than a half-million births in New York City suggests.

In particular, women who gained more than 20 pounds above the guideline amounts had significantly higher rates of heart failure, severe high blood pressure and needing a transfusion or ventilation, researchers report in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“We’ve seen a huge surge in . . . maternal mortality in this country, and when we look at the risk factors that are potentially modifiable, gestational weight gain is one that can change throughout pregnancy,” said lead author Dr. Marissa Platner of Emory Healthcare and the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2009, the National Academy of Medicine revised guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy based on women’s pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight to height).

Women in the normal BMI range of 18.5-24.9 are encouraged to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Those with a BMI below 18.5 should gain 28 to 40 pounds. Women who are overweight before becoming pregnant should gain less during pregnancy: 15 to 25 pounds for those with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 and just 11 to 20 pounds for those with a BMI of 30 or higher.

Nearly half of all pregnant women in the U.S. gain more than what’s recommended, however, particularly those who are overweight or obese before pregnancy, the authors note.

“It’s really important to optimize your nutrition, diet and exercise before you become pregnant and then during pregnancy,” Platner said in a phone interview. “It’s one of the most important things you can do to affect your pregnancy outcomes.”……….

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