Health Canada Revises Pregnant Weight-Gain Guide

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In order to conform with the latest recommendations from the U.S. Institute of Medicine, Health Canada is revising its weight gain guidelines for pregnant women.

Health Canada Revises Pregnant Weight-Gain Guide

Among the guidelines being adopted by Health Canada is having a suggested rate of weight gain for pregnant women, as well as recommendations for total weight gain.

Health Canada also has instituted a specific recommendation for a lower amount of weight gain for obese women.

Gestational weight gain recommendations are based on a women’s body mass index (BMI) prior to pregnancy.

Under the new guidelines,

  • Women with a body mass index less than 18.5 prior to pregnancy – considered underweight – have a recommended range of total weight gain between 28 and 40 pounds (12.5 and 18 kilograms)
  • Women in the normal weight category with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 have a recommended range of total weight gain from 25 to 35 pounds (11.5 to 16 kg)
  • For overweight women with a pre-pregnancy BMI between 25 and 29.9, a total weight gain between 15 and 25 pounds (seven to 11.5 kg) is recommended
  • Obese women with a pre-pregnancy BMI of greater than 30 are advised to gain no more than 11 to 20 pounds (five to nine kg) during pregnancy

The decision to adopt the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s recommendations was made by Health Canada in consultation with an external expert advisory group

An interactive web-based tool that will assist women in tracking their weight gain during pregnancy is also being developed.

The final materials for health professionals and pregnant women will be available next spring.

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