Keeping weight off while pregnant is dangerous for women

July 15, 2011 1:49:37 PM PDT
Brandi Winston is five months pregnant. During her first trimester, she lost weight because of morning sickness. But now she's feeling better and she's back to a healthy weight.

"I know that I am going to gain weight because I am carrying another human being so, i'm good," Winston said.

But some gynecologists say many modern women are so obsessed with staying thin that they're trying to keep the weight off, even while they're pregnant. And that can cause premature delivery and pre-term labor.

Both of those problems can be very serious, can cause very serious birth defects for the baby and can also cause problems with the mother.

So what's a healthy weight gain for a pregnant woman? Depends. Women who are under weight should gain between 28 to 40 pounds during pregnancy. Those with normal weight, 25 to 35 pounds. Overweight women should gain about 15 to 25 pounds, and for women who are obese, approximately 11 to 20 pounds.

That can be a dilemma for women who are overweight, because the more they gain, the more they're at risk for developing conditions like high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. But if they gain weight in a healthy manner, it usually goes away. After all, much of the weight that they gain during their pregnancy is actually lost during the birthing process.

As for Brandi, she doesn't mind getting on the scale. She knows skinny can wait, when it comes to her baby's health.