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Few Pregnant Women Receive Correct Weight Counseling

Only 12 percent of women achieve recommended weight-gain based on 2009 guidelines

THURSDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A minority of pregnant women report receiving correct counseling in accordance with the 2009 guidelines for weight gain and the risks of inappropriate gain, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sarah D. McDonald, M.D., from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and colleagues investigated whether pregnant women are receiving correct counseling about weight gain and the risks of inappropriate gain based on the 2009 guidelines. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 310 who had at least one prenatal visit, could read English, and had a live singleton gestation.

The investigators found that 28.5 percent of the women reported receiving recommendations from their health care provider about the amount of weight they should gain, but only 12 percent of the women reported achieving the recommended weight gain in accordance with the 2009 guidelines. Receiving information about the risks of inappropriate weight gain was reported by one-quarter of the women.

"The results of this study point to an urgent need for improved patient education, potentially in part through a tool to guide women about weight gain. Further research is now needed to develop and test interventions to improve counseling about and women's knowledge about appropriate gestational weight gain and to determine whether maternal and infant outcomes can be ameliorated," the authors write.

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