Basic information for topics, such as “What is it?” and “How many people are affected?” is available in the Condition Information section. In addition, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that are specific to a certain topic are answered in this section.
The amount of weight you should gain during pregnancy depends on your weight before you got pregnant. Your health care provider will advise you on a healthy weight gain based on your current weight, diet, and activity level. Typically, weight gain should be gradual throughout pregnancy, with a total of about 1 to 4 pounds in the first trimester and 2 to 4 pounds each month in the second and third trimesters.1
In 2009, the Institute of Medicine released new recommendations for total weight gain during pregnancy, based on pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) , a measure that combines height and weight. According to these recommendations:
New recommendations issued by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest that overweight and obese women may be able to gain even less than what is recommended and still have a healthy infant.3 It's important for women to discuss with their health care provider how to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, as being overweight or obese can affect pregnancy outcomes and the long-term health of the mother and infant. An NICHD study found that women who were obese before pregnancy were more likely to have infants born with congenital malformations such as heart problems and neural tube defects.4
Research is starting to improve our understanding of the epidemic of obesity in the United States. Unfortunately, even young children are at risk for becoming obese, making them vulnerable to diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions throughout their life course.
The good news is that with better knowledge, actions can be taken to prevent the development of overweight and obesity—starting even before pregnancy. For example, the following steps can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and reduce the chance that a child will be overweight or obese5:
Medication use during pregnancy is common. In a study by the CDC, during the first trimester of pregnancy, 70% to 80% of women reported taking at least one medication, and as many as 50% took four or more medications.10
Certain medications can be unsafe, however. Talk to your health care provider about the medications you currently take. Tell him or her about prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as dietary or herbal supplements. Certain types of medications for treating acne as well as herbal and dietary supplements can harm the developing fetus. Even ibuprofen or aspirin can cause problems in pregnancy, particularly during the last three months.11
Many women take medications to treat health problems during pregnancy like diabetes, asthma, heartburn, and morning sickness. Other women take medications to treat conditions they had before they became pregnant. Often, your health care provider will encourage you to continue taking your medication. However, in some cases, a safer alternative may be available.10
Read more about medication safety during pregnancy at the FDA Medicine and Pregnancy page.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated one in five American women have a disability.12 Most women with disabilities can have healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy babies, especially if they have a health care team that is knowledgeable about their disability. However, in a national study, many women reported difficulty finding health care providers and hospitals that had experience managing pregnancies with their disability.13
Women with disabilities face many of the same health problems, including weight gain and fatigue, as other pregnant women. However, these problems can be more serious or lead to other complications in women with disabilities. Other challenges faced by women with disabilities may include13:
Preconception care and prenatal care from health care providers experienced in managing pregnancies with women with disabilities can improve the health of the mother and the infant. To find a health care provider, visit the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists resources for women with disabilities .
All related topics
All related news