Gaining too much weight during pregnancy nearly doubles risk of having a heavy baby
A study by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research of more than 40,000 women and their babies found that women who gained more than 40 pounds during their pregnancies were nearly twice as likely to have a heavy baby. Published in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the study found that more than one in five women gains excessive weight during pregnancy, doubling her chances of having a baby that weighs 9 pounds or more. "Too many women gain too much weight during pregnancy. This extra weight puts them at higher risk for having heavy babies, and these babies are programmed to become overweight or obese later in life," said study lead author Teresa Hillier, MD, MS, an endocrinologist and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Oregon and Hawaii. "A big baby also poses serious risks for both mom and baby at birth--for mothers, vaginal tearing, bleeding, and often C-sections, and for the babies, stuck shoulders and broken collar bones. "
While researchers have known for some time about the link between diabetes during pregnancy and heavier birth weights, and recently have learned how maternal weight gain affects the birth weight, this is the first study to determine that women who gain excessive weight are even more likely to have heavy babies than women who are treated for gestational diabetes.
"This is one more good reason to counsel women to gain the ideal amount of weight when they are pregnant," said study co-author Kim Vesco, MD, MPH, an obstetrician and gynecologist with Kaiser Permanente in Portand, Oregon. "From a practical standpoint, women who gain too much weight during pregnancy can have a very difficult time losing the weight after the baby is born."
The study followed 41,540 women who gave birth in Washington, Oregon and Hawaii from 1995-2003. More than 20 percent of the women who gained more than 40 pounds—which is the maximum recommended pregnancy weight gain--- gave birth to heavy babies. In contrast, less than 12 percent of women with normal weight gain had heavy babies.
At greatest risk were the women who gained more than 40 pounds and also had gestational diabetes; nearly 30 percent of them had heavy babies. That risk was significantly reduced-- to only 13 percent-- when women with gestational diabetes gained less than 40 pounds.
"The take-home message is that all pregnant women need to watch their weight gain, and it is especially important for women who have risk factors like gestational diabetes." Dr. Hillier said.
- Pregnancy weight gain may increase a woman's risk of gestational diabetesMon, 22 Feb 2010, 18:37:53 EST
- Excessive pregnancy weight gain raises the risk of having a fat babyTue, 7 Jun 2011, 11:36:31 EDT
- Severely obese women may need to gain less weight during pregnancySat, 12 Feb 2011, 2:03:36 EST
- Obese women gain too much weight in pregnancy, then retain weight a year laterWed, 21 Oct 2009, 18:10:37 EDT
- Weight gain between first and second pregnancies increases woman's gestational diabetes riskMon, 23 May 2011, 17:36:22 EDT
- Gaining too much weight during pregnancy nearly doubles risk of having a heavy babyfrom Science CentricFri, 31 Oct 2008, 14:07:44 EDT
- Gaining Too Much Weight During Pregnancy Nearly Doubles Risk Of Having A Heavy Babyfrom Science DailyFri, 31 Oct 2008, 11:28:07 EDT
- Too much weight in pregnancy nearly doubles risk of heavy baby: studyfrom CBC: HealthFri, 31 Oct 2008, 11:07:28 EDT
- Gaining too much weight during pregnancy nearly doubles risk of having a heavy babyfrom PhysorgFri, 31 Oct 2008, 7:07:31 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Learn more about
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Allosaurus fed more like a falcon than a crocodile, new study finds
- Invasive crazy ants are displacing fire ants in areas throughout southeastern US
- Beautiful 'flowers' self-assemble in a beaker
- Scientific insurgents say 'Journal Impact Factors' distort science
- GPS solution provides 3-minute tsunami alerts