Implementation of the New Institute of Medicine Gestational Weight Gain Guidelines

Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, RD; Andrea Deierlein, PhD, MPH; Alison Stuebe, MD, MSc


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2010;55(6):512-519. 

In This Article


Full implementation of the gestational weight gain guidelines will require radical changes in the care of women throughout their reproductive years. To achieve these targets, providers should offer physical activity, nutrition, and mental health counseling services before, during, and after pregnancy. Evidence from research over the past few decades suggests that such changes have the potential to decrease obstetric risks, normalize infant birth weights, reduce postpartum weight retention, and improve the long-term health of both mothers and infants. A range of approaches is necessary to help women achieve optimal prepregnancy BMI status and gestational weight gains within the recommendations. These strategies will involve individual, psychosocial, community, and health care systems. Individualized attention is likely to be necessary but not sufficient to enable most women to gain weight within the new guidelines. Health care providers can play a central role in implementing these guidelines because of their contact with women before, during, and after pregnancy.


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