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Diet & Health : Body Weight Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Pregnancy weight gain linked to heavy babies
By Jimmy Downs
Nov 1, 2008 - 4:26:16 PM

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Saturday November 1, 2008 ( -- A new study found that women gaining too much body weight during pregnancy had higher risk of having a heavy baby and had more birth complications. Heavy babies have higher odds of becoming overweight or obese children and adults.


The study led by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research showed women who gained more than 40 pounds during their pregnancies were nearly twice as likely to have a heavy baby.


Teresa Hillier and colleagues followed 41,540 women who gave birth in Washington, Oregon and Hawaii from 1995-2003 and found that of women who gained more than 40 pounds during pregnancies, 20 percent had heavy babies who weighed 9 or more pounds compared to less than 12 percent for those women who gained normal weight.


Of those who both gained more than 40 pounds and suffered gestational diabetes, 30 percent have heavy babies. Of women who gained less than 40 pounds, but without gestational diabetes, the odds were only 13 percent.


Diabetes has been linked to higher risk of heavy babies.


"A big baby also poses serious risks for both mom and baby at birth--for mothers, vaginal tearing, bleeding, and often C-sections, and for the babies, stuck shoulders and broken collar bones," Hillier said.


The study was published in the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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