Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weight gain early in pregnancy means bigger, fatter babies

Date:
July 16, 2013
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
A researcher cautions against too much weight early into pregnancy, which leads to larger, chubbier babies.

Moms-to-be who gain too much weight early into their pregnancy are nearly three times as likely to give birth to bigger and fatter babies, warns a University of Alberta researcher.

Related Articles


A study of 172 expectant mothers found that women who gained excessive weight during the first half of pregnancy gave birth to heavier and longer babies with more body fat than babies of women who either did not gain as much weight or put it on later in their pregnancy.

The results underscore the need to educate expectant mothers about the dangers of early weight gain during pregnancy and importance of healthy eating and exercise, said lead author Margie Davenport, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation.

"Expectant mothers and health professionals need to be aware of pregnancy weight-gain guidelines and follow them to build a foundation for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby," said Davenport.

The study included data from 172 healthy, expectant mothers living in London, Ont., between 1995 and 2011. The women were non-smokers with a body mass index of at least 18.5 when they were between 16 and 20 weeks pregnant. A BMI below 18.5 is considered too thin; anything above 25 is considered overweight.

All women in the study were encouraged to follow a basic exercise program of three to four aerobic workouts a week. They also had access to eating guidelines to promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy.

Maternal weight gain was scored against the 2009 Institute for Medicine guidelines for pregnancy, comparing data with their pre-pregnancy BMI.

More than half of the study participants -- 52 per cent -- gained excessive weight during their pregnancies; however, women who gained weight during the first half of their pregnancy were 2.7 times more likely to give birth to bigger, heavier babies. These babies also had excessive body fat, greater than 14 per cent.

"Healthy eating and physical activity when pregnant have long-lasting benefits to mother and child," Davenport said. "Infants who are larger at birth tend to become larger children, and that creates a risk for developing into obese and overweight children and adults."

Eating healthy and staying active

Sarah O'Hara knows the dangers of gaining too much weight too quickly, both as a new mom and a registered dietitian who specializes in obstetrics. One of the key challenges to ensuring expectant mothers eat properly is overcoming the old saying "eating for two," she said.

"For many mothers, eating for two is taken too literally. People feel like they've been given an allowance to eat whatever they want, and that can lead to weight gain," said O'Hara, a U of A alum.

During her own pregnancy she closely monitored her weight, stayed active and followed the Canada Food Guide, adding additional servings later in the pregnancy and eating extra dairy and protein, and limiting caffeine.

Staying active hasn't been a challenge for Carolyn Terry, who is seven months pregnant. A yoga instructor and U of A alum in kinesiology, Terry said expectant moms like her can maintain their physical activity levels, although some modification may be required.

"You have to work at your own level and listen to your body," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. The original article was written by Bryan Alary. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Weight gain early in pregnancy means bigger, fatter babies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716162152.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2013, July 16). Weight gain early in pregnancy means bigger, fatter babies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716162152.htm
University of Alberta. "Weight gain early in pregnancy means bigger, fatter babies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716162152.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins