Excessive weight gain during pregnancy a predictor for above-average birth weight

April 17, 2012, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

One out of every two women of reproductive age is overweight or obese. Researchers from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute, from the University of Ottawa (faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences) and from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute set out to discover if overweight or obese women are in fact more likely to give birth to above average weight babies, as reported in the Journal of Maternal Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.

"Obesity can become part of an intergenerational cycle," said Dr. Kristi Adamo, co-author of this report and co-founder of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity (HALO) Research Group at the CHEO Research Institute. " averages can be an indicator of the weight a child will carry through preschool and even into adulthood. It's critical for a mother to understand that her healthy eating and lifestyle decisions during pregnancy will impact much more than a nine-month gestation period."

To investigate this issue in more detail, Dr. Adamo and her colleagues examined data from more than 4,000 mother and baby pairs cared for at The Ottawa Hospital and the Kingston General Hospital between 2002 and 2009. They found that excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) can be just as problematic as pre-pregnancy . In fact, the study indicated that independent of pre-pregnancy (BMI), mothers who exceeded GWG recommendations specific to their pre-pregnancy BMI significantly increased the likelihood that their child would be born larger than average for gestational age (i.e. above the 90th percentile of infant weight for .)

"It doesn't matter if you're categorized as normal weight, overweight or obese during pre-pregnancy — exceeding the 2009 Institute of Medicine GWG targets seems to have a growth promoting effect on the fetus," explained the co-author Zach Ferraro, a PhD student in Dr. Adamo's lab and in the Human Kinetics doctoral program at the University of Ottawa. He is co-supervised by Dr. Denis Prud'homme, co-author of this report and dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences. "Unfortunately, delivering a large baby increases the risk for many delivery-related complications in both mom and baby. But the takeaway here is that GWG is a modifiable risk factor that can and must be addressed during prenatal visits for all women."

Explore further: Pre-pregnancy BMI important indicator of offspring obesity

Related Stories

Pre-pregnancy BMI important indicator of offspring obesity

April 17, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Maternal gestational weight gain (GWG) during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy correlates with body mass index (BMI)-based overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity at age 16, but maternal pre-pregnancy BMI is ...

Excessive pregnancy weight gain raises the risk of having a fat baby

June 7, 2011
Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy tend to have newborns with a high amount of body fat, regardless of the mother's weight before pregnancy, a new study finds. The results will be presented Tuesday at The Endocrine ...

High pregnancy weight gain can lead to long-term obesity

May 18, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Gaining more than the recommended weight during pregnancy can put women at increased risk of becoming obese and developing related health problems, including high blood pressure, later in life.

Overweight moms with moderately high blood sugar raise health risk

April 11, 2012
Pregnant women who are overweight with moderately elevated blood sugar never set off any alarms for their physicians. The big concern was for women who were obese or who had gestational diabetes because those conditions are ...

Mothers' weight before and during pregnancy affects baby's weight

December 13, 2011
A new study published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (AOGS) reveals that both pre-pregnant weight (body mass index, BMI) and weight gain in pregnancy are important predictors of babies' birthweight. ...

Recommended for you

Rise in preterm births linked to clinical intervention

January 18, 2018
Research at the University of Adelaide shows preterm births in South Australia have increased by 40 percent over 28 years and early intervention by medical professionals has resulted in the majority of the increase.

New report calls into question effectiveness of pregnancy anti-nausea drug

January 17, 2018
Previously unpublished information from the clinical trial that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relied on to approve the most commonly prescribed medicine for nausea in pregnancy indicates the drug is not effective, ...

New study finds 'baby brain' is real, but the cause remains mysterious

January 15, 2018
So-called "baby brain" refers to increased forgetfulness, inattention, and mental "fogginess" reported by four out of five pregnant women. These changes in brain function during pregnancy have long been recognised in midwifery ...

Sleep quality improves with help of incontinence drug

January 12, 2018
A drug used to curtail episodes of urinary incontinence in women also improves quality of sleep, a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine reports.

Frozen embryos result in just as many live births in IVF

January 10, 2018
Freezing and subsequent transfer of embryos gives infertile couples just as much of a chance of having a child as using fresh embryos for in vitro fertilization (IVF), research from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Adelaide, ...

Study suggests air pollution breathed in the months before and after conception increases chance of birth defects

January 8, 2018
A team of researchers with the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital has found evidence that indicates that pre-and post-pregnant women living in an area with air pollution are at an increased risk of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.