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What Happens If I Gain Too Much or Too Little During Pregnancy?

In the short term, gaining the suggested amount of weight reduces the risk of preterm birth (birth before 37 weeks of gestation) and promotes a baby that isn't too big or too small at delivery.

In the long run, research suggests that the greater the weight gain during pregnancy, the higher the risk of having an overweight child and one with higher blood pressure. Children who are born too small, which can result from inadequate weight gain during pregnancy, are more prone to certain chronic conditions, including heart disease and diabetes, during adulthood.

What if you miss the mark for recommended weight gain? If you're off by just a few pounds either way, it probably won't make much of a difference. The IOM guidelines provide a range in each BMI category, suggesting that good outcomes are achieved with all different weight gains. Listen to the advice of your doctor or nurse-midwife about weight gain, but if you have doubts, ask what's right for you.

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