A woman's excessive weight gain during pregnancy seems to increase birthweight and the baby's risk of obesity later in life, a new study suggests.
The study revealed that both pre-pregnant weight (body mass index, BMI) and weight gain in pregnancy are important predictors of babies' birthweight.
This is important since high birthweight may also predict adult overweight.
They estimated the association between maternal pre-pregnant BMI and weight change in pregnancy and offspring birth weight.
The study found that birth weight of the newborn child increased with increasing maternal pre-pregnant BMI, and that offspring birthweight also increased with increasing weight gain of the mother during pregnancy.
Every increase in one kg of pre-pregnancy BMI increased birthweight with 22.4 g. A subsequent increase in weight gain during pregnancy of 10 kg increased birthweight with 224 g.
Additionally, women with the highest level of education had the highest offspring birthweight. Offspring birthweight in women with 17 years or more of education was 79.2 g higher than those with less than or equal to 9 years of education.
"Encouraging women to attain a healthy weight before conception and keep a moderate weight gain during pregnancy is important to avoid high or excessive birthweight in offspring," Koepp noted.
The finding was published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (AOGS).