Health Team

Eating for two can be too much for pregnant women

Posted November 14, 2008

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— Doctors often tell pregnant women to minimize weight gain. A new study shows that gaining too much weight during pregnancy can be harmful to the mother and lead to long-term complications for the baby.

Nicole Davis gained two pounds in the first four months of her pregnancy.

"I love my junk food. I love my chocolate. I just have to remember, I'm taking care of someone else right now," she said.

A study by Kaiser Permanente shows that gaining more than 40 pounds during pregnancy almost doubles the chances of having a baby who weighs nine pounds or more at birth.

"Excessive weight gain during pregnancy can then program that child for higher risks of childhood obesity," Dr. Jennifer Leighdon Wu explains.

Doctors recommend that expectant mothers take in an additional 300-500 calories a day – the equivalent of two yogurts.

"They should also continue a regular exercise routine – at least 20 minutes, three times a week, of moderate exercise," Wu said.

Giving birth to a heavy baby can lead to serious complications for both mom and infant, Wu added. Carrying a bigger baby increases the chances of birth trauma, fractures to the baby's clavicles during childbirth and the need for a Cesarean section.


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  • saltygirl2 Nov 18, 2008

    My brother weighed 10 pounds at birth, he is an adult and at a healthy weight... not obese..... Who does these studys?

  • scientistjo Nov 18, 2008

    OLD PIRATE 2....what?

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Nov 18, 2008

    Women have been having healthy babies for thousands, if not millions of years. Only when we encourage our children to have babies do we see infant mortality issues pop up. Childbirth is a natural occurance, until we try to change nature.

  • tiblet Nov 17, 2008

    I agree...I am overweight and when I was pregnant with my first child my OB/GYN told me that it would be best if I only gained 10 lbs during the pregnancy....that was the most unrealistic thing I ever baby weighed 7 lbs / 8 oz...came on her due date and was delivered vaginally. I am still overweight but weigh less than what I did when I got pregnant and my child is amost 3 and is in the 50th percentile for height and weight...right on track so far.

  • myself Nov 17, 2008

    It is ridiculous the pressure and stresses they put on pregnant women! I gained 40 lbs with my 1st and he was 6lbs 3oz. I gained about 30 lbs with my second, she was 5lbs 13 oz. I gained 50 lbs with my 3rd, he was 7lbs 7oz. He is 2 months old now and both of us are fine. I was was back to size 7 clothes within a week of giving birth.

  • vote4changeASAP Nov 17, 2008

    They are just now figuring this out?