Obesity and Pregnancy

Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, How much should an overweight pregnant woman gain?

Question

I am 50 pounds overweight. Should I diet before I get pregnant?

Answer

Obesity presents unique problems in pregnancy. These problems include high blood pressure, diabetes, and prolonged and difficult labors. Also, some studies have suggested that there may be an increased risk for birth defects in babies born to obese women. Plan to eat a healthy diet, including 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, and embark on a reasonable exercise program well before you try to conceive. For obese women who are pregnant, I recommend a weight gain of only 15 to 25 pounds.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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