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Extra Pounds During and Between Pregnancies Can Pose Problems
Date:4/19/2008

Don't eat for 2, because complications increase with excess weight,,,,

SATURDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnancy has long been considered a kind of gastronomical free-for-all. After all, a pregnant woman has to nourish two bodies with the food she eats, right?

The problem is, the baby's nutritional needs are only around 300 calories a day, and extra weight gain can increase the risk of pregnancy complications for both mother and child.

And, weight concerns don't stop after the baby is born, because extra weight gain after pregnancy increases the risk of complications in subsequent pregnancies, even if a woman never gains enough to be considered overweight.

"Women think they have carte blanche to eat whatever they want during pregnancy, but that's not a good idea," said Dr. Miriam Greene, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University Medical Center and the author of the book, Frankly Pregnant: A Candid, Week-by-Week Guide to the Unexpected Joys, Raging Hormones, and Common Experiences of Pregnancy.

"If you eat for two, you'll end up with complications you didn't need to take on. Eat what your appetite tells you to eat, and eat slowly, so you can tell when you're full," advised Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, an obstetrician at MacDonald Women's Hospital at Case Medical Center, University Hospitals in Cleveland, and author of the book, The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book.

During pregnancy, an average-weight woman should gain about 25 to 35 pounds, according to Greene. "You don't want your weight gain to be less than 15 or greater than 40," she said.

But many women aren't heeding that advice. A recent report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found that about one-quarter of American women gain more than 40 pounds during their pregnancy. The IOM is currently reviewing its guidelines on pregnancy weight gain and expects to issue ne
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