Gaining too much weight in pregnancy linked to bigger babies - who are more likely to suffer from obesity later in life
Following the release of guidelines to manage pregnancy weight gain last week, new research has found a connection between excessive pregnancy pounds and larger babies.
Researchers in the US have found that for every 2.2lbs a mum-to-be gains, her baby’s weight increases by a ¼ oz. They are also more likely to be fat or obese in later life. This backs up the importance of the NICE guidelines that advise women to aim to be a healthy weight before getting pregnant and to avoid the temptation to eat for two.
The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, compared the weights of more than 500,000 mums with two children. Women who gained excessive pregnancy pounds were more likely to give birth to big babies. These babies were then more likely to have problems with weight later in life.
“Because high birth weight predicts body mass index later in life, these findings suggest that excessive weight gain during pregnancy could raise the long-term risk of obesity-related disease in offspring,” said Dr David Ludwig and Dr Janet Currie, the authors of the study.
If you’re putting off getting pregnant check out our guide to planning a pregnancy if you’re overweight for some practical tips. If you’re already pregnant find out how much weight you can expect to put on and what is too much and too little.