Posts Tagged ‘pre-pregnancy weight’

Three factors you can control to help prevent premature birth

Monday, November 7th, 2016

preemie and momAlthough there are certain risk factors for premature birth that a woman is not able to change, the good news is that there are three risk factors that most women can do something about.

Researchers at the March of Dimes Ohio Collaborative Prematurity Research Center are making big strides. According to their published study, up to one-quarter of preterm births (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) might be prevented if we focused on three risk factors – birth spacing, weight before pregnancy and weight gain during pregnancy.

What did the research show?

The study looked at the records of 400,000 single births and found that more than 90% of the women had one of these three risk factors. The women in the study who had less than a year between pregnancies, were underweight before pregnancy and gained too little weight during pregnancy had the highest rates of preterm births – 25.2%, according to the researchers. The good news is that women may have more control over these risk factors than other factors, which can influence preterm births.

Birth spacing

Birth spacing is the period of time between giving birth and getting pregnant again. It’s also called pregnancy spacing or interpregnancy interval (also called IPI). Getting pregnant too soon can increase your next baby’s chances of being born prematurely, as well as being born at a low birthweight or small for gestational age (SGA). It’s best to wait at least 18 months after having a baby before getting pregnant again. If you’re older than 35 or have had a miscarriage or stillbirth, talk to your provider about how long to wait.

Weight before pregnancy

Getting to a healthy weight before pregnancy is important. Women who are overweight or underweight are more likely to have serious pregnancy complications, including giving birth prematurely. How do you know if you’re at a healthy weight? Schedule a preconception checkup with your health care provider. This is the best time to discuss your weight and make sure you’re healthy when you get pregnant.

Weight gain during pregnancy

Gaining too much or too little weight can be harmful to you and your baby. It’s important to gain the right amount of weight for your body. Your provider can help you determine how much weight you need to gain during pregnancy.

Bottom line

There is still much we do not know about the causes of premature birth. But, knowing some things that a woman can do to decrease her chance of giving birth early, is good news.

Check out the cutting edge research our Ohio Collaborative is working on.

Wait… check your weight!

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

on-the-scalesWe have posted before on the importance of getting your weight under control before you get pregnant.  It helps you and your baby in so many ways.  And it’s also important to gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy.

I just came across a great podcast from the National Academies of Science called Weight Gain During Pregnancy: How Much Is Too Much? It’s really very good and worth listening to if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy.  Check it out.

New guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

pregnant-woman-on-weight-scale-shrunkIf you’re an expecting mommy or a woman trying to get pregnant, listen up. The Institutes of Medicine (IOM) released a report today with new recommendations for how much weight a woman should gain during pregnancy, including how much weight they should gain week by week.

The authors of the report stressed how important it was for women to get to a healthy weight BEFORE getting pregnant. That’s because women who are overweight or obese before pregnancy face greater health risks to herself and her baby during pregnancy. For women who are overweight or obese and already pregnant, the authors recommend that women, working with their health providers, carefully monitor their weight gain so that both mom and baby have a greater chance of staying healthy.

The pregnancy weight gain recommendations are as follows:

BMI* Before Pregnancy

Total Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Weight Gain Week by Week** in 2nd and 3rd Trimester

Underweight (BMI less than 18.5)

28-40 pounds

1 pound

Normal weight (BMI is 18.5-24.9)

25-35 pounds

1 pound

Overweight (BMI is 25.0-29.9)

15-25 pounds

½ pound

Obese (BMI is greater than 30.0)

11-20 pounds

½ pound

Use this calculator to find out your BMI
**  These figures assume a 1st trimester weight gain between 1-4½ pounds

Remember, all women need to make sure they eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and get their folic acid, both BEFORE and DURING pregnancy. With your health provider’s OK, most pregnant women should try to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most, if not all, days.

Check out ChooseMyPlate, an online tool from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It can help you plan a healthy diet based on your age, weight, height and physical activity. There’s even a special section for pregnant and breastfeeding moms.

Pre-pregnancy weight

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I attended an all-day conference yesterday and its focus was on obesity. As you know, obesity is an epidemic in our country. One of the speakers, a physician, said, “if you don’t think obesity is a problem, just got to the beach!” While this comment was meant to make the audience chuckle, this is a serious public health issue that many become seriously ill or die from. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a few people in my own family that struggle with their weight.

The problems associated with being overweight and obese are too numerous to list, but I do want to mention the impact that it has on preconception health. Preconception health has become a popular phrase and according to many experts, is the key to improving pregnancy outcomes. It’s believed that the health of the mom before pregnancy is just as important as her health during pregnancy.

For example, if a woman is obese and trying to become pregnant it may be difficult because it can affect ovulation and her menstrual cycle. During pregnancy, obesity can cause diabetes and high blood pressure. Being overweight or obese can also increase the chance of certain birth defects, delivering prematurely and the likelihood that the baby will be overweight as a child.

For all women preconception health is important and for the overweight woman even more so. No matter how much you weigh, please talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about having a baby.