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Doctors and moms alike want a healthy mom and a healthy baby. And a woman who is gaining too much weight is putting herself and her baby at risk.
As a doctor, when I look at a pregnant woman, I anticipate the future. I worry about my patient's blood pressure when she's gaining too much weight. If it gets too high, I might have to deliver her baby early and the baby could end up in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Gaining too much weight during pregnancy is associated with other increased risks, such as a greater likelihood of gestational diabetes or a cesarean delivery.
My patients and I create a shared vision of how a healthy pregnancy will progress. I calculate her body mass index and we set the expectation early for a healthy amount of weight gain. I ask what her impression is of her diet and we discuss her "weak spots."
It's important to start the day with enough protein to sustain her through the morning. The goal is to keep from filling up on less-nutritious foods later. And we see if there are foods that are causing her trouble. As a healthcare provider, I'm there to listen and give helpful feedback.