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Eating For Two? Rethink That.

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Vivian Manning-Schaffel: Are you knocked up? The Institute of Medicine issued their first national recommendations on pregnancy weight since 1990. And judging from these recommendations, you might want to ditch that after-dinner Ding Dong.

pregnant woman eating fruits

Obesity rates in the U.S. have soared over the past two decades. Gaining too much weight in pregnancy can lead to health risks like high blood pressure or diabetes, and increase the chances you'll need a C-section. And babies born to overweight mothers have a greater risk of premature birth or of later becoming overweight themselves.

The guidelines recommend:

• Normal-weight women with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9: gain 25-35 pounds.

• Overweight women with a BMI 25 to 29.9: gain 15-25 pounds.

• Obese women with a BMI of 30 or higher: gain 11-20 pounds.

• Underweight women with a BMI less than 18.5: gain 28-40 pounds.

• Women expecting twins gain 37-54 pounds for a normal-weight woman, 31-50 pounds for the overweight, 25-42 pounds for the obese.

Now, considering that about 55% of women of childbearing age are overweight, preconception care isn't that common, and about half of pregnancies are unplanned, these guidelines will present a challenge to many American preggos.

But pregnancy is no time to lose weight, stressed guidelines co-author Dr. Anna Maria Siega-Riz of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

However, it does signal the death knell for the ol' "eating for two" excuse. "Pregnant women should not be eating for two," said Dr. Ellen J. Landsberger, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at New York's Montefiore Medical Center. "You want a healthy baby? On both ends, you have to eat the right amount."

next: Momblogic Roundup: Gone Gosselin
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
jennifer May 29, 2009, 6:58 PM

Enough with pregnancy weight gain! If a woman can’t indulge when she is pregnant, when can she? I find the monthly pregnancy weigh-ins beyond humiliating….how about you?

Anonymous May 29, 2009, 7:59 PM

I honestly feel there is this stigma that pregnant women should be eating chocolate and ice cream and other junk… When I was pregnant w/ my 1st I fed into that and felt I had free reign to eat anything under the sun… so I did! What a mistake! I gained 50 pounds (baby was 8… the rest was salt and vinagar chips and ice cream)It took a year of hard work to get it off. My second I knew I didn’t want to go through that again. I found out you only needed an extra 300 calories!!! So I stuck to my normal diet and snuck in a few extra treats and gained 24 pounds.. I also kept exercising (walking) I don’t know how but I was in my pre pregnancy jeans 4 days after birth! I’m still amazed that happened! Don’t know if its a coincidence but my 1st labor was 14 hrs and my 2nd was 3 1/2!!

Shannon May 29, 2009, 8:19 PM

Obviously, pregnant women, you can’t be trusted to eat healthy on your own. Put down that after dinner ding dong, you irresponsible flake who can’t be trusted to judge her own caloric intake and just wants to use pregnancy as a excuse to let herself go! You can’t possibly know better, so we have to tell you!


ashley May 30, 2009, 7:26 AM

I always tell all of my friends or cousins that are pregnant DO NOT overeat!! I lived with my parents still when I was pregnant with my son at 20 and my mom is a nutritionist and so we always ate very healthy. I snuck out sometimes with my fiancee a few times and had something greasy and fast. But, I gained 25 pounds and was back to looking normal in 2 weeks. WIth my daughter I worked in a kitchen and so I ate a little more and gained 30-35 pounds and it was harder to get it off. My poor cousin recently had a baby and had such a poor diet that she was put on bed rest for high blood pressure for 6 weeks (yes, the DR said it was her diet that did it!) she gained like 60. I tried to warn her!!

Carla Cunningham May 31, 2009, 2:54 PM

Hi! I wrote a book called “Alone in the Storm” which is an inspirational and heart warming story about an overweight British woman who travels to New Orleans and witnesses the devastation and destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. The story was based on real life events.


(I’m on Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo)

Carla Cunningham
Published Author of Alone in the Storm

Nell May 31, 2009, 5:47 PM

I agree with Jennifer. I think that the “experts” shouldn’t put hard core numbers out there that all women should conform to. They obviously are wrong, evident by all of the “re-re-re-recommended guidelines”. It should be done on a case by case and basis monitored by the doctor. After all, women have been having babies long before all of these studies.

Nikki May 31, 2009, 10:22 PM

Nell and Jennifer, you only need 300 extra calories a day…thats it. You can get that in a simple smoothie. Nothing more or less. Be good to your bady and your baby. Being a mom isn’t an excuse to get fat.

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