The risks that go along with obesity like heart disease, diabetes
and stroke, are well known. If a woman is overweight or obese while
pregnant, the risks are even greater.
"We know that women who gain too much weight during pregnancy
are at risk for hypertension during pregnancy as well as pre-term birth,"
said Pennington Biomedical Research Center associate professor Dr. Corby Martin.
The risks can carry on to the child. Research shows children
born to obese mothers, are more likely to become obese or develop diabetes and
other problems. A new study called, Expecting
Success is looking to change that.
"There is currently no magic bullet beyond healthy
living. So we know women who can modify their diet as well as increase their
activity tend to achieve a number of benefits as well as manage their body
weight," said Martin.
In 2009, the Institute for Medicine revised the weight gain
guidelines during pregnancy. According to those guidelines, a woman who
is overweight at the start of pregnancy should only gain 15-25 pounds. An
obese woman should only gain 11-20 pounds.
not very much weight when you consider that the baby will weigh about eight
pounds, and then there are other things that will grow in the mom to support
the baby," said Dr. Leanne Redman of Pennington. "It's not very much weight
gain at all."
Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Woman's Hospital have
teamed up for a state of the art study looking at the best ways to manage
weight gain during pregnancy according to the IOM guidelines.
"If they're eligible we'll invite them to start in the second
trimester. Each mom if they're assigned to the weigh management program which
is called smart moms, will be assigned her very own lifestyle coach or
lifestyle councilor," said Redman.
The Expecting Success program is looking for 306 women to
participate. To qualify, a mother must meet these criteria:
Pregnant in the first trimester
18-40 years old
Overweight or obese
Planning to deliver at Woman's
Living in Baton Rouge for next
Speak, read and understand
Women who qualify will be assigned to one of three personalized
weight management programs. The first is a physician directed program.
The second is a Smart Moms-Clinic program that includes advice from a lifestyle
counselor. The third is a Smart Moms-Phone program which uses a smart
phone app to connect the patient and her councilor as well as keep track of
realize that motherhood is what is called a teachable moment. It's the time in
people's lives when they are willing to make more changes, especially healthy
ones. By impacting the mom during her pregnancy, we can potentially impact her
health and the health of her family for the rest of their lives," said Redman.
study will follow the women through the first year of their child's life.
The hope is that Expecting Success can develop into a program that can be
applied to thousands of women around the nation.
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