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Think Out Loud

Pregnancy Pounds

Pete Springer/OPB

This year the Institute of Medicine issued new guidelines for how much weight you should gain if you’re pregnant. It was the first time in nearly 20 years the IOM had updated its recommendations. One new study aims to keep women who are obese from gaining any additional weight at all. That’s something that’s hard for me to fathom.

When I got pregnant last year, I was not obese, but I was certainly over what the charts said my “normal” weight should be. No medical professional expressed a concern about my weight or told me how much I could gain without worry. When I wasn’t at work or at the doctor’s office, it seemed like I was either eating to satisfy a craving or ravenous hunger, popping antacids or propping my feet up to get the swelling in my legs and ankles down. (Or all three at once!) I can’t imagine trying to work, maintain sanity and have to worry about not gaining any weight.

Researchers say obesity rates in the U.S. are getting steadily worse. And that — along with other serious implications — means that nearly half of American women who get pregnant are either overweight or obese. That means they’re at greater risk of developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and hypertension. And it’s more likely that their babies will be prone to obesity.

Are you pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant? Are you overweight or obese? Are you worried about the effect of your weight on your health or the health of your baby? If you’ve had a baby, what role did weight play in your pregnancy?


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