Beware of the 2 major dangers of weight loss during pregnancy

Maternal and child health

Beware of the 2 Major Dangers of Weight Loss During Pregnancy

Too-Yourhealth

Danger 1: Preterm Birth

Preterm birth is defined as a birth that occurs before 37 weeks of gestation. It is a major public health concern, as it is the leading cause of infant mortality and morbidity in the United States. Preterm infants are at increased risk for a number of health problems, including respiratory distress syndrome, cerebral palsy, and developmental delays.

There is a strong association between weight loss during pregnancy and preterm birth. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that women who lost 10 or more pounds during pregnancy were twice as likely to have a preterm birth compared to women who gained the recommended amount of weight.

The reason why weight loss during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth is not fully understood. However, it is thought that weight loss may lead to a decrease in placental blood flow, which can lead to preterm labor.

Danger 2: Small for Gestational Age

Small for gestational age (SGA) is a term used to describe babies who are born below the 10th percentile for their gestational age. SGA babies are at increased risk for a number of health problems, including developmental delays, respiratory problems, and hypoglycemia.

There is a strong association between weight loss during pregnancy and SGA. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that women who lost 5 or more pounds during pregnancy were 50% more likely to have an SGA baby compared to women who gained the recommended amount of weight.

The reason why weight loss during pregnancy increases the risk of SGA is not fully understood. However, it is thought that weight loss may lead to a decrease in the baby's growth potential.

How Much Weight Should You Gain During Pregnancy?

The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. Women who are underweight should gain 28-40 pounds during pregnancy. Women who are normal weight should gain 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. Women who are overweight should gain 15-25 pounds during pregnancy.

It is important to note that these are just general guidelines. Your doctor may recommend a different amount of weight gain based on your individual circumstances.

How to Gain the Right Amount of Weight During Pregnancy

There are a few things you can do to help you gain the right amount of weight during pregnancy:

Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Limit your intake of sugary drinks and processed foods.

Get regular exercise.

Take a prenatal vitamin.

See your doctor regularly for prenatal checkups.

If you are concerned about gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy, talk to your doctor.

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