21/12/2009 09:35 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Obese Women Told Not To Gain Pregnancy Weight

Gaining weight is an inevitable part of pregnancy, right? I put on three stone each time (and lost the same afterwards), how about you? It seems strange to think that you could go through nine months of pregnancy and not put on at least a few pounds.

However, a new study has just been launched which aims to stop women from gaining extra weight when they're pregnant - the difference being that these women are already obese.

The four-year study, which was launched in October in the US, works with obese pregnant women to ensure that they gain little or no additional weight during pregnancy.

In a statement about the study, Dr Vic Stevens (who's studied weight loss for over 30 years) said: "It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest that women control their weight during pregnancy, but these women are already carrying between 50 and 100 extra pounds – and for them any more weight gain could be very dangerous."

Although women often take steps to become more healthy when they're pregnant (stopping smoking and avoiding alcohol, for example), obese women tend to gain more weight than is recommended. The "Healthy Moms" trial is working with 180 obese pregnant women from Washington and Oregon. Half will receive one session only of diet and exercise advice. The others will attend two individual counselling sessions and then weekly group counselling throughout their pregnancy. A bit like Weight Watchers for pregnant women, they'll be weighed and encouraged to keep daily food and exercise diaries.

The goal will be no weight gain during the pregnancy. If participants do gain weight, researchers hope to limit it to three percent of their original weight. That's a huge departure from the traditional "gain weight, because you're eating for two" instructions. But researchers say this change may help to prevent problems including pre-eclampsia, diabetes, birth injuries and weight retention after pregnancy.

What do you think of this study? How much weight did you put on while pregnant? Did you manage to lose it again afterwards? Leave a comment and have your say.

Source [ParentDish US]