Artal and other experts also agree on another problem: The current weight-gain guidelines neither establish an upper limit for obese women (recommending instead that they gain at least 15 pounds) nor distinguish between different degrees of obesity. To address these oversights, the chart above indicates the weight gain (or loss) that recent research has shown can lower the likelihood of complications without raising the risk of having a low-birthweight baby.
The IOM and other medical groups have not yet sanctioned these suggested guidelines, so talk to your doctor before trying to limit your weight gain. Artal strongly advises that obese expectant women who try to do so or even to lose weight should be under the supervision of a high-risk OB and a nutritionist or dietitian who specializes in pregnancy and can create a personalized diet and exercise plan.
How much weight should you gain?
|Prepregnancy Body Mass Index (Bmi)||Current Recommendation||New Studies Suggest|
|less than 19.8 (low)||gain 8-40 lbs.||gain 9-22 lbs.|
|19.8-26 (normal)||gain 25-35 lbs.||gain 5-22 lbs.|
|26.1-29.9 (overweight)||gain 15-25 lbs.||gain under 20 lbs.|
|30-35 (obese)||gain at least 15 lbs.||gain under 13 lbs.|
|35.1-39.9 (class II obesity)||n/a||gain 0-9 lbs.|
|40+ (class III obesity)||n/a||lose 0-9 lbs.|
To determine your recommended weight gain, go to fitpregnancy.com/bmi.