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Mothers’ Pre-Pregnancy Weight, Plus Pregnancy Weight Gain, Predict Babies’ Birth Weight

December 13, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A study by Norwegian scientists finds that a women’s weight before pregnancy, coupled with the amount of weight gain during pregnancy, are significant indicators of a baby’s birth weight and, possibly, adult weight. The researchers assessed data on pre-pregnancy and pregnancy weight for more than 58,000 women over seven years. It was found that the birth weight of the newborn child increased with increasing maternal pre-pregnant body mass index (BMI); offspring birth weight also increased with increasing weight gain of the mother during pregnancy. Every one kilogram increase in pre-pregnancy BMI increased birth weight with 22.4 g. A subsequent increase in weight gain during pregnancy of 10 kg increased birth weight with 224 g.
Unni Mette Stamnes Koepp et al., "Maternal pre-pregnant body mass index, maternal weight change and offspring birthweight", Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, December 13, 2011, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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