Gaining weight between pregnancies increases the risk of your child suffering from a life-threatening condition.
New research reveals babies of mums who gained excess weight were found to be 78 per cent more likely to suffer meconium aspiration, a condition where a very sticky substance gets into a newborn’s lungs, reports The Daily Mail.
It also increases the risk of a seizure and a low Apgar score, which is a quick method for assessing the a newborn’s health.
Being overweight while expecting a baby can starve the foetus of oxygen, a phenomenon known as birth asphyxia which may lead host of problems.
Paediatrician Dr Martina Persson and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, said the number of overweight and obese people has reached ‘epidemic proportions’, including among pregnant women.
She said: ‘Given the high prevalence of maternal overweight and the possible long term consequences of birth asphyxia, our results have substantial public health relevance, as even modest weight increases in normal weight women may impact offspring outcomes on a population level.
‘Encouraging women to normalise BMI before pregnancy and to avoid weight gain between pregnancies is likely to be an important measure to improve infant health.’
The research used data from the Swedish Medical Birth Register on 532,858 second born infants born at term to mothers having their first and second infants between 1992 and 2012.
The risk of complications rose most for women whose BMI went up by at least four units between each pregnancy, compared to those whose weight remained stable.
Dr Persson said: ‘As recently stated by WHO (World Health Organisation), the prevalence of maternal obesity must be reduced in order to improve maternal, foetal and neonatal health.’
Dr Persson added: ‘The risk of birth asphyxia increases with maternal weight gain between pregnancies.
‘Consequently, preventing weight gain between pregnancies could reduce the risk of birth asphyxia and improve infant health.’
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