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Obese women advised against gaining weight during pregnancy

By Bill Raack, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – A local obstetrician says it is okay for some expectant mothers to safely lose weight during their pregnancy.

Dr. Raul Artal -- chair of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at St. Louis University's School of Medicine -- has launched a program to treat pregnant women with serious weight problems. He says so-called "conventional wisdom" that women should gain 15 pounds during pregnancy should not necessarily be followed by those suffering from obesity.

"It is our experience now for many years and my personal experience that under strict medical supervision pregnant women can maintain during pregnancy or even lose some weight and this will actually result in a better outcome."

Dr. Artal says his research indicates that obese women who gain no weight during pregnancy avoid problems like diabetes, hyper-tension and deliver more normal-weight babies. Dr. Artal adds that obese women who work to lose weight during pregnancy must be supervised closely by a knowledgeable physician.

He has launched the SLUCare Pregnancy Bariatric Clinic. It incorporates exercise and diet for pregnant women who are morbidly obese.


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