A new study on the impact of weight gain in pregnancy yet again brings warnings about eating for two
Step. Away. From. The. Cake. Putting on too much weight in pregnancy increases the risk of your child being obese by age 12, according to a new study.
The research by Boston Children’s Hospital looked at more than 41,000 women and their children before making the connection.
The team’s test was designed to look specifically at the impact of pregnancy weight gain, balancing out the influence of other factors on childhood obesity, including genes and social circumstances.
‘Children born to women who gained excessive amounts of weight – 40 lb. or more – during pregnancy had an eight per cent increased risk of obesity,’ said the study’s senior author David S. Ludwig, who specialises in childhood obesity.
This comes as one of the latest in a line of recent pregnancy studies, highlighting how much your lifestyle makes a difference to both you and your baby. Earlier this week Columbia University unveiled a link between smoking in pregnancy and a child developing bipolar disorder in adulthood.
So, what does this mean for antenatal care? Should a mum-to-be’s lifestyle be more heavily regulated, perhaps with some sort of health MOT? Or is that a Big Brother-esque move too far?
‘We can only ever really advise women on what is healthiest for them and their babies during their pregnancy,’ says Philippa Kaye, GP and author of Your Pregnancy Week by Week (Vermilion, £11.99).
‘We cannot stop people smoking and it would be extremely difficult to dictate what a women must eat or how much weight she must gain or lose.
‘As doctors and midwives, I think it’s important we advise as opposed to police – women still need to be able to come to us for care without feeling judged.’
What are your tips for having a health pregnancy? Let us know in the comments box below.