Navigation Links
Overweight pregnant women not getting proper weight-gain advice
Date:12/10/2012

HERSHEY, Pa. -- Overweight women are not receiving proper advice on healthy weight gains or appropriate exercise levels during their pregnancies, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

"Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is associated with weight retention after delivery and is a positive predictor of obesity after pregnancy," Dr. Cynthia Chuang, associate professor of medicine and public health sciences said. "Excessive gestational weight is particularly concerning for overweight and obese women given their already increased risk for pregnancy complications."

Overweight is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25-29, and obese as more than 29.

Guidelines for weight gain are based on the weight of the woman at the start of pregnancy. Women of a normal weight are advised to gain 25 to 35 pounds, overweight women are advised to gain 15 to 25 pounds, and obese women are advised to gain less than 20 pounds.

Researchers interviewed 24 women after the birth of their first child: 12 overweight and 12 obese. All 12 of the overweight women exceeded the recommended pregnancy weight gain, and nine of the obese did.

Healthcare providers advised 12 of the 24 to gain too much weight, using the guidelines for normal weight women instead of the appropriate weight guideline. Providers did not discuss weight gain with nine of the 24, gave nonspecific advice to one, and advised an appropriate weight gain to only two. While most women did not receive specific advice on weight gain at the start of pregnancy, all had their weight monitored during doctor visits.

"Women received little, if any, feedback regarding whether their weight gain during pregnancy was healthy or not," Chuang said. "Some women who received their care at obstetrical group practices and were seen by different providers in the same practice even received conflicting advice."

For example, one overweight woman gained 30 pounds during her pregnancy, but reported her obstetrician expressed concern when she had gained only 10 pounds by the end of the second trimester. Recommendations are that obese women gain 11 to 20 pounds during pregnancy.

Researchers reported their findings in a recent edition of Women's Health Issues.

"Women may believe that their healthcare provider is not concerned with excessive weight since they are not being counseled," Chuang said. "Some may believe that their provider will alert them if they are gaining too much weight."

Women find information on weight gain from sources including books, the Internet, magazines, family and friends who are mothers.

"Yet, few women value these sources as much as they value the opinion of their providers," Chuang said. "This suggests that provider advice on weight gain and physical activity during pregnancy would be well-received."

For exercise during pregnancy, providers gave advice to only 10 of 24 women in the study. However the advice was often initiated by the patient, was limited to the initial prenatal visit or was given through written handouts.

None of the women in the study were told to increase their activity, four were advised to continue their activity and 10 were told to limit their activity. None were told how long to exercise, or that the intensity of the exercise should be moderate to vigorous. Stretching and walking were the typical exercises suggested.

Women were told not to exercise more intensely than before pregnancy because most women were not exercising before pregnancy.

"This advice was interpreted to mean that they should not exercise at all," Chuang said. "Unfortunately, this is in conflict with the federal physical activity guidelines that recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise in healthy pregnant women, even in previously inactive women."

The reasons why women are not being given proper advice are unclear, said the researchers, who noted that providers may find it awkward to acknowledge that a patient is overweight and do not want to cause embarrassment. Some doctors may also not calculate a pre-pregnancy BMI to better advise their patients.

Providers need tools to address weight gain and exercise levels, the researchers said. Office-based tools like BMI calculators may help to identify patients as overweight and obese to provide appropriate preconception counseling and accurate weight gain targets. It may also be beneficial to offer educational materials prior to a first prenatal visit.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matthew Solovey
msolovey@hmc.psu.edu
717-531-8606
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Overweight? New research explains how proper sleep is important for healthy weight
2. Omega-3 lowers inflammation in overweight older adults
3. Overweight? Theres a vaccine for that
4. Infants of overweight mothers grow more slowly
5. Antibiotic use in infants before 6 months associated with being overweight in childhood
6. Older overweight children consume fewer calories than their healthy weight peers
7. Parents talking to their teens about being overweight
8. 2 servings of salmon a week is healthy for pregnant women and their babies
9. Vitamin D for pregnant women and babies -- how much is enough?
10. Considerable prevalence of both malaria, STIs exist among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa
11. American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle Anti-Theft System Market is ... next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion by 2025. ... all the given segments on global as well as regional levels ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Optimove , provider of the ... as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today announced two new ... Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, these features allow ... recommendations to their customers based not just on ... intent drawn from a complex web of data ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... 20, 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. ... manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the ... year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two ... face and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... In response to the strong ... Biodex Medical Systems, Inc. announces the release of their Gait Trainer 3 with an ... with a biomedical system to aid in rehabilitating individuals with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... , ... May 18, 2017 , ... ... The Tapas Cooking Challenge is a two-hour team-building package designed for groups ... created by Chef Jodi Abel, which include items, such as Blackened Shrimp with ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 17, ... ... CRO standards with psychonneuroendocrine stress expertise, and further enhances its scientific power ... researcher, Douglas A. Granger, Ph.D., has agreed to join the scientific advisory ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... ... varying industries, including food and dairy, munitions, and pharmaceutical/biotech, recently introduced The Revolution ... ease of use. The improvement in technology comes on the heels of HOLLOWAY’s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: