Women who enter pregnancy overweight or who gain too much weight during pregnancy place their unborn child at risk for obesity later in life, according to a study from Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Of the 727 Black mothers in this study, 45% were overweight or obese and 64% gained more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy. The study found that 22% of the children born to these overweight women were obese and 24% of their body mass was fat by the time they turned 7-years-old. Children born to women who were overweight or obese before pregnancy had a 300% increased risk of obesity. “Some weight gain during pregnancy is normal, but …gaining too much can put the child at risk for being obese…and…places them at higher risk for future chronic disease,” state the researchers.
Widen E, Whyatt R, Hoepner L, et al: Gestational weight gain and obesity, adiposity, and body size in African-American and Dominican children in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2015;March 5th.
A woman who was average weight before getting pregnant should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. Underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds. Overweight women need to gain only 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy.
Where Does the Extra Weight Go During Pregnancy?
Baby: 8 lbs
Placenta: 2-3 lbs
Amniotic fluid: 2-3 lbs
Breast tissue: 2-3 lbs
Blood supply: 4 lbs
Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 lbs
Larger uterus: 2-5 lbs
Total: 25-35 lbs