October 31, 2008
Gaining Too Much Weight During Pregnancy Nearly Doubles Risk of Having a Heavy Baby
Women who gained more than 40 pounds during their pregnancies were nearly twice as likely to have a heavy baby, according to a study from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research that was published in the November edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The study further 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.
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.
For more information, read this press release.