Hey Big Mamas: Lose Weight Between Babies, Says Study
byDeborah SkolnikJun 04, 2013
Photograph by ABC via Getty Images
As if we didn't already have our hands full between diapers and feedings: A new study from Saint Louis University urges obese women to lose weight between pregnancies. The research, which appeared in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said that the between-babies interval is a crucial time for weight loss.
What makes this a golden window? Most new moms have plenty of health-care pros on hand to provide encouragement and guidance, the study's authors said.
They point out that this kind of healthy weight loss benefits not only moms, but their babies too—a conclusion they reached after examining the records of more than 10,000 women (all Missouri residents) who'd delivered their first two babies between 1998 and 2005. Their findings: Obese women who lost weight between pregnancies were more likely to have babies who were normal-sized for their gestational age than women who gained weight or whose weight didn't change.
It's all noteworthy stuff for the millions of us moms who struggle with our weight - more than one in four U.S. women beginning their pregnancies as obese. These moms face special risks during their pregnancies, including high blood pressure, pregnancy-related diabetes, and a higher risk of having babies who are large for their gestational age (which in turn can lead to problems like low blood sugar and jaundice, as well as childhood diabetes).
Large babies are more likely to have low blood sugar and jaundice soon after birth, and are at greater risk of developing childhood obesity and metabolic syndrome, which is a series of medical problems that contribute to the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.