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High weight gain in pregnancy linked to heart risks for baby

Children born to mums who put on more pregnancy pounds than recommended have higher risk of cardiovascular problems

Posted: 2 June 2010
by Kimberley Smith

Excessive weight gain in pregnancy has been found to have a long-term effect on a child’s weight and heart health. Researchers in Bristol found that children whose mums piled on the pregnancy pounds were more likely to be overweight or obese by the age of 9 and have a wider range of cardiovascular risk factors.

The study investigated around 8000 mother-child pairs finding that children whose mums had gained more weight than recommended guidelines were more likely to have a higher body mass, greater fat levels and higher blood pressure.

Lead researcher Debbie Lawler also conceded that other explanations could also influence the connection. Some children may have inherited their mum’s genetic predisposition to gain weight or have adopted the same unhealthy eating habits that led to excess weight gain in pregnancy.

This study furthers the case for regular exercise during pregnancy to keep you and your unborn baby healthy, prepare you for labour and help you shift your baby weight more easily. You can also find out how much you should expect to put on during your pregnancy.

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