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New Guidelines to Fight Obesity in Pregnancy Issued
Date:5/28/2009

aving a premature or low birthweight baby.

Babies born to overweight and obese mothers may face their own challenges. These newborns are at increased risk of:

  • Being born prematurely
  • Fetal and neonatal death
  • Having certain birth defects, especially neural tube defects
  • Needing special care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
  • Being obese in childhood

Preterm birth is a serious health problem that costs the United States more than $26 billion annually, according to the IOM. It is the leading cause of newborn death and babies who survive an early birth often face the risk of lifetime health challenges, such as breathing problems, mental retardation and others. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon (34-36 weeks gestation, also known as late preterm birth) have higher rates of death and disability than full-term babies.

The new IOM report also added rates for the amount of weight a woman should gain in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy -- a pound a week for underweight and normal weight women and about a half-pound for overweight and obese women.

The March of Dimes, along with other national organizations concerned with maternal and infant health, co-sponsored the IOM study.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or '/>"/>

SOURCE March of Dimes
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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