As I mentioned ad nauseum (literally!) during my pregnancy, I gained a boatload of weight (this link click is SO worth it, I swear!). Like, sixty pounds. Experts recommend that normal weight gain during pregnancy should be between 25 to 35 pounds. Ha to the ha ha! I had to eat to keep from puking. Okay, so I didn’t have to eat Wendy’s chicken sandwiches and french fries every day, but still!
A new study suggests I wasn’t doing my Henry any favors by gaining all that weight. Women who gain an excessive amount of weight while pregnant tend to have chubbier babies which is a possible risk factor for childhood obesity.
“Excessive weight gain during pregnancy, regardless of pre-pregnancy weight, is an important risk factor for newborn obesity,” said Dr. Jami Josefson, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Memorial Hospital, in a news release from The Endocrine Society
So what exactly is excessive weight gain? Well, like I mentioned, the average weight gain is between 25 and 35 pounds, overweight women should keep weight gain between 15 and 25 pounds, while obese women should limit weight gain to 11 to 20 pounds.
Here’s how the study worked:
The study included 56 women — 31 whose pregnancy weight gain fell within the guidelines and 25 who gained too much. None of the women had gestational diabetes. Researchers tested infant’s body fat within 48 hours of delivery using what they say is a newer, more accurate technique. Babies born to women who exceeded the guidelines had 17.5 ounces of body fat compared to 13.9 ounces among newborns of women whose weight gain fell within the guidelines.
Researchers noted the link between pregnancy weight gain and baby’s body fat regardless of the women’s weight before becoming pregnant. Interestingly, obese women are more likely to exceed weight gain recommendations, with about 70 percent going above what is recommended compared to 31 percent of women of normal weight.
Researchers acknowledge more research needs to be done to determine if high amounts of fat at birth are associated with being overweight as a kid.
So, maybe those chubby cheeks aren’t so cute after all? Nah… chubby cheeks will always be adorable.