Less Weight Gain OK for Obese Women Expecting Twins: Study

Feb. 12, 2014

Weight gain in pregnancy is a foregone conclusion, especially when a woman is expecting twins. But, according to a new study presented last week at The Pregnancy Meeting – the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine – some women may not need to gain as much as others.Twins

Among a group of more than 550 obese women who delivered twins between 2004 and 2012, those who gained less than the "recommended" amount of weight in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy had the same rate of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia (high blood pressure), preterm delivery, low birth weight and NICU admissions as those gaining the recommended amount. Recommended amounts of weight gain in pregnancy are based on body mass index (BMI) and set by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Although the study did not extend beyond delivery to the postpartum phase, the authors say it stands to reason that if obese women gain the recommended amount of weight then they are left with even more weight than they started the pregnancy with. More research is needed to understand the relationship between pregnancy weight gain and outcomes among twin pregnancies, but obese women may be able to gain less than recommended without harm to their babies.

Study authors include Tulin Ozcan, M.D., Stephen Bacak, D.O., M.P.H., Paula Zozzaro-Smith, D.O., Neil Seligman, M.D. and J. Christopher Glantz, M.D., M.P.H., all members of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine division within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital.