Does pregnancy-related weight gain affect body weight changes after being pregnant?

Weight Gain & Pregnancy

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Weight Gain & Pregnancy

A California research duo reviewed 13 studies on how and if pregnancy-related weight gain affects body weight changes after pregnancy.

They found that a single birth results in a 4.4 pound to 6.6 pound higher body weight and raises the risk of being overweight within one year to several years after delivery. Overall, up to 20% of women were found to sustain significant weight gain following their pregnancy, according to a review article in a recent issue of the journal Epidemiology Review.

 

 

   

"If one invokes common sense, a pregnant women should gain 25-35 pounds during the course of her pregnancy," says Yvonne Thornton, MD, PhD, a perinatologist at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. "If she begins her pregnancy overweight based on her height, she should gain just 25 pounds, and if she is obese to begin with, she should gain only 15 pounds

Women should NEVER diet during pregnancy," she stresses. But a pregnant woman should only be consuming 300 more calories per day than she was eating before she conceived. "That's roughly a quart of skim milk," she says.

"You lose 18 pounds when you give birth in terms of the baby, blood volume, and swelling; then that remaining 7 pounds is just extra maternal fat," she says.

"It should take six weeks to lose the pregnancy weight if you gain 25 pounds, but if you gain 40 pounds to 100 pounds, perhaps you'll never lose it," Thornton says.

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