With the understanding that total weight gain during pregnancy varies widely among women with similar ages, weights, heights, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic status, recommendations for weight gain should be used only as guides. The following clinical recommendations based on current knowledge [3, 49,50] can aid practitioners in defining the weight gain goals for achieving a desirable body weight for women throughout pregnancy and postpartum. The recommendations relate to anthropometric measurements and counseling and are summarized in Table 2.2.

Table 2.2

General Guidelines for Achieving Optimal Gestational Weight Gain Preconception

  1. Assess weight and height
  2. Assess dietary intake
  3. Offer guidance regarding healthy eating
  4. Provide individualized care to address risk factors such as undernutrition and obesity During Pregnancy
  5. Assess weight and height
  6. Determine BMI based on height and prepregnancy weight
  7. Recommend overall and incremental weight gain and monitor weight gain throughout pregnancy
  8. Assess dietary intake
  9. Provide education to all women on weight gain and healthy eating
  10. Provide individual assessment and counseling, by a dietitian/Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food Program, for women with inadequate or excessive weight gain

Postpartum Period

  1. Provide advice regarding weight management related to postpartum weight retention
  2. Encourage healthy eating Adapted from [50]
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