Researches warn overweight mothers affect their baby’s growth while they’re in utero
Obese mums could slow their baby's growth
Obese women may be affecting their baby’s development while they’re still in utero, scientists warn.
A study of 97 mothers, 38 of whom were overweight or obese, shows unborn infants grow more slowly compared to women of ‘normal’ weight.
Researches from the University of Iowa noted that babies of obese women gained less fat, affecting their physical and cognitive development, reports Netdoctor.
Lead scientist Katie Larson Ode said, “If what we have found is true, it implies that the obesity epidemic is harming children while they are still in utero and increases the importance of addressing the risk of obesity before females enter the child-bearing years.”
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010, 6 in 10 American women of childbearing age are obese. MedicalDaily claims babies of obese mothers will eventually catch up to their peers, but do carry the risk of continuing to rapidly gain weight.
Larson Ode added, “A message from this study is, ‘Don’t panic’. Pediatricians see a lack of (initial) growth and they assume the child is not getting enough nutrition. But we believe the baby is in fact getting plenty.”
Because the study was on a small scale, experts note that a much larger sample size would need to be monitored to confirm the findings.