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Explaining the IOM guidelines
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|GRAPHIC SLIDE: Catherine Spong, M.D.
Dr. Spong on camera.
|Dr. Catherine Spong: The gestational weight categories are defined by the body mass index or the BMI. And that is based on a person's weight as well as their height, and there's a specific formula for it. And it breaks down into women who are underweight, women who are of normal weight, women who are overweight, and women who are obese.
The IOM recommendations then are based on those four categories where underweight women are recommended to gain, have the broadest weight gain range, and women who are obese have the smallest weight gain range, but still should gain some weight during pregnancy according to the 2009 IOM guidelines.
So the 2009 Institute of Medicine guidelines for weight gain give a range. And all of those ranges do suggest that women should gain some weight during pregnancy. There is not consensus in the field as to whether women who are morbidly obese need to gain any weight during pregnancy, but there is not enough data to substantiate that. And that's why the guidelines recommend that all women should gain some weight.