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June 22, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(8):877-878. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980080047012

It has been common practice for physicians to set a limit on the weight their patients gain during pregnancy. The reasons usually given are that this (1) helps to prevent toxemia and long difficult labor and (2) adds to the patient's comfort and improves her appearance. No one is likely to deny the second of these reasons, but, because few valid statistical studies have been made to support the first, Thomson and Billewicz1 in England and Brantley2 in the United States have made such studies. The limit usually set is a gain of between 18 and 20 lb. (8 to 9 kg. ) for the entire period of gestation. Many physicians, however, arrive at the ideal weight at term by adding 20 lb. to the ideal weight for the patient's age and height rather than the patient's usual weight before she became pregnant.

In the British study the weight