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
|Contact: Matthew Solovey|