Excessive gestational weight gain in obese women is associated with severe medical conditions

January 13, 2016

"Excessive gestational weight gain has been implicated in an intergenerational vicious cycle of obesity as overweight and obese mothers give birth to big daughters who are more likely to become obese themselves and deliver large infants," he said.

Pregnancy is an ideal time for women who are obese to exercise and watch what they eat, Artal added. These lifestyle changes are safe and carry benefits that last long after they have given birth, Artal added.

"Similar to smoking cessation programs, pregnancy provides a unique and ideal opportunity for behavior modifications given high motivation and enhanced access to medical supervision," he said.

"Limited weight gain in obese pregnant women has the added potential for setting the foundation for a healthier lifestyle over a woman's lifespan."

Artal led the team of obstetricians who drafted the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' guidelines for exercise during pregnancy. He was joined in writing the commentary by Charles Lockwood, M.D., chair of the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale University School of Medicine and Haywood Brown, M.D., chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Medical Center.

Source: Saint Louis University School of Medicine