A new study found that pregnant moms who gain too much weight during pregnancy might put their babies at risk of becoming heavy later on in life.
‘Among the more than 513,000 women and their 1.1 million infants studied, scientists found that women who gained more than 53 pounds (24 kilograms) during their pregnancy made babies who were about 150 grams (0.3 pounds) heavier at birth than infants of women who gained only 22 pounds (10 kilograms).’
In the U.S., women generally gain more weight than recommended during pregnancy. The Institute of Medicine, an independent, nonprofit organization that advises the U.S. government, says normal-weight women should gain 25 to 35 pounds (11 to 16 kilograms) during pregnancy, while overweight and obese women should gain 11 to 25 pounds (5 to 11 kilograms).
Previous research also shows those women who gain too much weight during pregnancy are at risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. Furthermore it is more difficult to give birth to large babies; they are more likely to get stuck in the birth canal or need a cesarean section.
Typically big babies weigh more than 8 pounds and 12 ounces. High birth weight has been related to risk of asthma, allergies, and certain types of cancer.
According to Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Optimal Weight for Life program at Children’s Hospital in Boston, “the fetus is developing in an abnormal metabolic environment where there is excess blood sugar,” “that could alter the development of tissues, organs and perhaps even the wiring of the brain that regulates appetite and metabolism.”
This is of course not to say that pregnant women should be on a diet but they should be careful with what they eat and they should not overeat. Pregnant woman should talk to their doctors about nutrition and learn how to balance those pregnancy cravings.
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