Obese women should be counseled to lose weight before pregnancy

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 3, 2005

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Because of the increased risk of complications, women who are obese should be advised to reduce their size before becoming pregnant. If they don't, special care is needed to ensure the health of mother and child, according to a committee opinion issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The College, which published the statement in the September Obstetrics and Gynecology, also recommended that nutrition and exercise counseling go to all obese women throughout pregnancy and after birth and that screening for gestational diabetes be considered. Obese pregnant women also are more likely to require emergency cesareans, and an anesthesiology consultation in preparation for this possibility should be encouraged.

"In preconception visits, we talk to patients about genetic risks and immunity to rubella, but rarely do we discuss their weight or diet and exercise," said Vivian M. Dickerson, MD, ACOG's immediate past president. "But optimizing your weight before conception is one of the most important things you can do to have a healthy baby."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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