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Eating For Two: The Dangers Of Gaining Too Much Weight During Pregnancy

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Though it may have not been as common 40+ years ago, my mom's doctor extensively monitored her weight and weight gain when she was pregnant with me. In fact, based on her stature he cautioned her against gaining any more than 20-25 pounds overall. And, now new studies substantiate keeping weight gain to a "minimum".

New studies suggest that women who gain a lot of weight during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to high-birth weight babies....and, that in turn may increase a child's risk of becoming obese late in life.

This "revelation" further substantiates continually growing evidence regarding the importance of appropriate weight gain during pregnancy.

For a few decades now studies show that high birth weight increased the odds that a child will gain excess weight later in life. In fact, some studies of animals show that excess calories affect the fetus, including the tissue and the organs that regulate body weight.

Recently researchers at Children's Hospital in Boston and Columbia University in New York have studied the medical record of over 500,000 women who had two or more pregnancies, a total of more than 1 million babies and have concluded that babies born weighing more than 8 1/2 pounds are considered high birth weight.

Furthermore, by doing a comparison of siblings, experts were able to control for the mothers' genetic influences on birth weight.

The finding suggest that women gain on average about 30 pounds during pregnancy and that those who gained 50 pounds or more were twice as likely to give birth to a high birth weight baby.
While birth weight is not the only factor that determines whether or not a child will be overweight as an adult, the finding denote that the best time to start obesity prevention is in the womb, before birth.

Still, other experts say more studies and evidence are needed before "jumping to any conclusions".

In the meantime experts assert that there are many (other) good reasons to keep weight gain during pregnancy down. They note that women who overweight or obese during pregnancy are at greater risk for problems such as complications during labor and delivery (including c-sections), gestational diabetes, and high blood pressure.

A note of caution is added however. Being too thin or underweight during pregnancy can also be problematic to fetal growth and development. Too little weight gain results in the risk of a low-birth weight baby or less than 5 1/2 pounds.

Long Island Pregnancy Articles > Eating For Two: The Dangers Of Gaining Too Much Weight During Pregnancy

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