Measuring weight gain during pregnancy might prove to be a largely redundant exercise, at least in determining whether the baby is growing well for its age.
A study of over a 1000 women in Oxford who gave birth had a low success rate in predicting whether the babies were going to be small for their gestational age, based on mum's weekly weight gain.
Of those women gaining less than 2 kg a week or gaining less than most women for their dates, only 13 per cent were accurately predicted to have a small baby. "The ability to predict raised blood pressure was not much better," the Lancet report concluded.
Although Oxford researchers concluded that maternal weight should no longer be measured routinely in pregnancy, the Lancet cautiously called for more studies.