If my baby at delivery will only weigh around eight pounds, why do I have an extra 23 lb. weight gain? When a woman is pregnant, weight gain is inevitable - and necessary – to support the growth and development of her fetus into a healthy baby. This extra weight is provided to growing breasts, a larger uterus, placenta, increased blood volume and fat.
The amount of weight gain expected during pregnancy is individual to the patient, and factors to consider include pre-pregnancy weight, BMI of the mother and expected size of the baby. Twins and other multiples require more weight gain by the mother.
Gaining weight the right way, with appropriate nutrition to your developing baby, is crucial. Weight control during pregnancy is very important, because unhealthy dieting tactics can affect your baby. Uncontrolled weight gain, however, can also affect both mother and baby. Being overweight before pregnancy can lead to medical complications including gestational diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia (a combination of high blood pressure and protein in the urine). Conversely, underweight expecting mothers risk delivering their babies earlier than expected.
Cleveland Clinic’s Healthy Expectations Program will give you the information you need to optimize your weight and health before and during pregnancy, and after delivery. Our goal is to educate and empower you to:
• Reach a healthy weight before pregnancy
• Gain the right about of weight during pregnancy
• Shed the weight you gained during pregnancy after delivery
We do this in 60-minute shared medical appointments with a physician who specializes in weight management and a registered dietician. In these appointments, you will be with other women who face similar weight challenges. You will hear answers to questions you may not have asked. Together, you will learn more than you would have on your own.
Karen Cooper, DO, is the Director of the Healthy Expectations Program, and is part of the Women’s Health Institute. She is board certified in Family Medicine and sub-specializes in Obesity (Bariatric) Medicine. Dr. Cooper medically managed overweight and/or obese patients in the surgical setting for the past seven years, and has now shifted her focus to address overweight and/or obese individuals who are considering pregnancy, are pregnant or who are now post-partum. With a team of expert dieticians, Dr. Cooper will provide medical and dietary education and clinical management in individual and group appointments.
To schedule a shared medical appointment before, during or after pregnancy with Karen Cooper, DO, please call 216.444.6601 and ask for the Healthy Expectations program or visit clevelandclinic.org/healthyexpectations for more information.