Current recommendations should be changed for underweight and very obese women
Very obese women should actually lose weight during pregnancy in order to have a healthy baby, contrary to current recommendations, according to a new study in the journal Heliyon. The researchers behind the study, from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sud Réunion in France, say the current guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy should be adjusted for better outcomes in underweight and very obese women and their babies. The new study reveals the optimal weight gain for women that would give them a balanced risk of having a very small or very large baby. The findings will enable healthcare providers to give their patients more personalized recommendations. The team has developed an online calculator that can advise women on their ideal weight gain for the safest birth outcome, based on the research.
“The results of our research provide a solution to the conundrum affecting the 135 million pregnancies per year on this planet,” said lead author Dr. Pierre-Yves Robillard. “Women want to know what their optimal weight gain should be to have their baby as safely as possible, and their maternity care providers want to know what advice they can give women throughout their pregnancy. While our results show the recommendations are fine for women in the normal weight range, we have shown they are not ideal for very underweight and very overweight women.”