Originally Posted by calendula
Someone said the charts for weight gain were overinflated. Can anyone back that up with facts and if so by how much are they over?
It's mostly just my opinion, although there is research correlating maternal weight gain with later diagnosis of diabetes in children. The higher the mother's pregnancy weight gain, the higher the correlation, and there was a connection with even as little as 25 pounds.
Most of the research on maternal weight gain and fetal weight focuses on low-birth-weight babies, but there is some research
looking at the other side: "[M]any studies have demonstrated a direct association between birth weight and higher BMI in childhood and adulthood." Interestingly, they describe maternal weight gain as only the third factor in fetal weight at birth; the mother's pre-pregnancy BMI and the baby's gestational age at birth make more of a difference in whether the baby is born with higher than ideal fat stores. In other words, if the mother starts out very lean, she may have a low birth weight baby despite gaining the recommended 25-35 pounds; and likewise, a mother who starts out overwight/obese and only gains 15-25, may still have a baby with high BMI. But, clearly maternal weight gain still has some effect either way. There's just no good reason for someone who is say already borderline overweight to go ahead and pack on 35 pounds just because the books say that's within the healthy range. It doesn't benefit the baby and it's likely to be difficult/uncomfortable for the mother. Furthermore, maternal weight gain is highly associated with long-term overweight/obesity for the mother. Basically, if it's more than she can lose in the 6-12 months following birth, statistically the odds are against her ever returning to a healthy weight.
My sincere personal belief is that if you eat healthy, nutritious food when you are hungry and avoid empty calories (soda, snacks, etc.) your body and your baby will get what they need.