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Statistics Show an Increase in Overweight Newborns — Why We Should Be Concerned

baby-1-522x293A 27-year-old woman in Shanghai, China, is the new mom to a precious new baby that might just be one of the biggest babies of this year. The newborn tipped the scales at 13.10 pounds (6.17 kilograms).

Both mom and baby are healthy, but some doctors fear that the baby’s large size may  pose health risks later on in life. “Obesity may affect the baby’s health in the future. Rates of obesity and diabetes are obviously higher for an adolescent or an adult who was born overweight,” said Xu Chang’en, an associate chief physician of the obstetrics department of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University.

The mother of the newborn didn’t eat anything out of the ordinary during her pregnancy that would normally be connected to giving birth to a large newborn. She told a Chinese TV station that she ate an egg and drank one glass of milk every day. She also ate a lot of fruit. Doctors think her rapid weight gain early in her pregnancy caused her child’s large weight.

Although I am truly happy that both mom and baby are healthy and doing well, I feel like I have seen an increase in the birth of larger babies. The medical journal The Lancet reported that just in the past two to three decades there has been a 15 percent to 25 percent increase in babies weighing 8 pounds, 13 ounces or more.

While many are born healthy, it’s the risks that the child will have later in life that I am worried about. Babies born overweight have a higher risk of obesity and cancer later on in life. It’s those risks that demand us to be proactive about taking more preventative measures with women who are at risk of having an overweight newborn. Women who are more likely to have overweight newborns need to do everything in their power to try to combat the issue.

Not only are the babies at risk, but these instances also put mothers at risk. Pregnant women can get gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and have an increased rate of cesarean section.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t watch what I eat during pregnancy. But if my doctor told me my baby has the slightest risk of being unhealthy due to a condition that I might be able to control, you bet that I’d change anything that I could for the sake of my unborn child.

It’s not just our health we have to worry about, it’s the health of the child we are carrying.

More from Lauren on Babble:

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Image via Sky News

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