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Introduction

In the past 2 decades, dramatic changes have occurred in the population of women having infants. A greater percentage of women are entering pregnancy obese, with the related increased morbidities observed. Because many reproductive-age women present for medical care to obstetrician/gynecologists, these practitioners are ideally positioned to have an important effect on this phenomenon. For example, when patients present for their annual examination or preconceptual counseling, guidance regarding weight loss before pregnancy can be offered. During pregnancy, obstetricians can encourage the patient to follow guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy, recently reexamined by the Institute of Medicine, to prevent excessive weight gain, which women often are unable to shed after delivery. After co…