Pregnancy Weight Debate

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Story Updated: Dec 26, 2012

How many pounds should I put on for a healthy baby?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is revising its guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy. The group now recommends that physicians record a woman's body mass index at her first prenatal visit, and counsel her on diet, nutrition and exercise accordingly. While the general advice has been to gain 25 to 35 pounds, research suggests heavier Moms can have a healthy baby while gaining less weight.

Overweight women are now advised to gain a total of 15-25 lbs. during pregnancy. Obese women are encouraged to gain just 11 to 20 pounds. Today, more than half of all pregnant women in the US are overweight or obese. This puts them at increased risk for pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, and c-section deliveries.

The new guidelines also address growing concerns about weight retention after pregnancy.

As always, it is important to talk to your doctor about your personal care.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with information that can help keep your family healthy.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com