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Obese Women: Don't Gain Pregnancy Weight, Study Says

This post was originally posted at Nature’s Child, the site for sassy & sage natural parenting advice. And don’t forget to enter the Summer Essentials Contest while you’re there!

We all know someone who was thrilled when they learned they were pregnant. Yes, because they were bringing life into this world. But also because they could finally “eat for two” and let their diet go.

All of us with sense know that this is a pregnancy myth. You can’t actually eat for two and expect to lose the baby weight anytime in the next decade.

The eating “extra” may not be the best choice for every pregnant woman.

Pregnancy is not a time to eat twice as much, but twice as well.

Women who are already obese when they become pregnant may not need to gain “baby weight” as long as they and their care provider focus on a healthy diet.


A researcher studied 232 clinically obese women who were pregnant, then made dietary interventions for half the women. The women who ate healthier diets and didn’t gain much weight were more likely to have more positive outcomes for labor and delivery and fewer interventions.

To read more about this study, click here and head to Nature’s Child.

Image: Torsten Mangner on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.


  1. Well, we already know healthy weight gain is around 20 lbs-ish (I’m not a doctor so I’m running from memory here). I think the whole weight gain thing is easier said than done though. When I was pregnant I didn’t change much but I hadn’t been eating badly in the first place. Somehow with that 20 lbs mark in my mind I still managed to gain 50 lbs- and no, it hasn’t come off. I’m also still following the same habits and I haven’t gained any more weight either. I have to wonder if our bodies just change to keep weight on during that pregnancy period- kind of like an automatic biological body “nesting” need. Maybe they could do a study on this too.

  2. I think Satsuki is onto something with our bodies changing to keep weight on during pregnancy. Though I think it depends on whether the mother needed the weight in the first place. I could not gain weight for years yet when I became pregnant I was finally able. I have lost almost all of it now, 18 mos after giving birth (just by living my regular life.) I also worked out throughout almost my entire pregnancy so it’s not as if I suddenly started eating a tonne and sat on my butt.

  3. As a large woman, this article is nothing like the reality I lived through. Four times I have gone into pregnancy “fat”, listened to my body when it was hungry and tried to eat sensibly, ate and gained a LOT of weight (over 50 lbs with my first child, 30-40 with the other three kids), exclusively breastfed my children and had it *ALL* off by six weeks postpartum. I didn’t lose a lot past the pregnancy weight, but the weight gained in pregnancy comes off easily.

  4. I’ve been taking the Dr Max Powers Burn for two years now. It was recommended by my doctor after I stopped smoking and gained quite a bit of weight.

    I lost 60 pounds but also dieted vigorously and exercised regularly at the gym on the treadmill for 35 minutes. Also, not only fried chicken and fried food have fat. Any kind of red meat has fat content. Rule of thumb for me is if calories from fat are high, I take a pill with the meal. This Dr Max Burn is a lifesaver but it only works with diet and exercise.

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