Mom And Baby's Weight Gain May Be Linked

A new large-scale study has shown a link between excessive weight gain in pregnancy and childhood obesity.

Pregnancy weight gain

It’s so hard to gain the perfect amount of weight during pregnancy. Some women struggle to gain any weight at all, while others gain easily -- and sometimes too easily. However, a recent study has found that the more weight Mom gains during pregnancy, the more risk her child has of being overweight or obese during his childhood.

The study

The research took place at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts. It was a large study -- they studied 42,133 women who had more than one singleton pregnancy and their 91,045 children. They studied moms in Arkansas by gathering weight gain data and comparing it to state-mandated BMI and height measurements through the public school system.

They found that for every kilogram of weight a mother gained during her pregnancy, her child's BMI would increase by 0.02 kg/m2 (8%) by age 12.

The researchers concede that the study is limited because they weren’t able to take into account a mother’s pre-pregnancy weight. In general, moms who weigh more before pregnancy tend to gain less. They also caution that moms shouldn’t try to limit weight gain. "Moreover, we know that inadequate pregnancy weight gain can also cause major immediate and long-term complications for the offspring,” Dr. David Ludwig, of the Boston Children's Hospital and study author, told Medical News Today. “For all but the most obese mothers, some weight gain is necessary to ensure good nutrition to the developing fetus."

Recommendations for moms-to-be

They said that they couldn’t give broad recommendations for weight gain for moms based on the results, but most doctors and midwives suggest that moms-to-be eat a healthy, rounded diet of whole foods and limit processed foods high in salt, fat and sugar. Treats are okay in moderation, but don’t make junk food your staple as you move through your pregnancy.

This can be easier said than done, because pregnancy creates so many aversions and cravings. It can be hard to have a good, rounded diet if you’re alternatively retching and craving, but avoid binging on the things that are not good for you and try to sub healthy alternatives when you can.

More on pregnancy and weight gain

Dealing with pregnancy weight gain
Slowing weight gain during pregnancy
Who me? Worry about weight gain?

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