Most pregnant women spend time worrying about weight gain. For many women, body image and the fear of not being able to lose the weight later are the main reason for worry. Several recent studies have shown there are more dangers associated with gaining too much weight during pregnancy.
Many of the dangers of excessive weight gain are well known. Gaining too much weight puts the pregnant woman at risk for complications such as gestational diabetes and pre eclampsia. Pre term labor may be the result of these conditions, which can endanger the baby.
A Harvard study showed that women who gain an excessive amount of weight put their children at a higher risk for obesity. This study found that women who gained more than the recommended amount of weight were more likely to have an obese child. This effect was found in children as young as two to four years of age.
There is a new reason to worry about the weight you gain during pregnancy. Studies at the Lombardi Cancer Center in Washington D.C. and one conducted in Finland have shown that gaining more than 50 pounds can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer later. The Washington study showed that the risk of breast cancer tripled among women who gained more than 50 pounds. The study in Finland showed an increase of 40 percent.
The studies show a link between weight gain of over fifty pounds and post menopausal breast cancer. The main issue seems to be whether the weight is lost after pregnancy. Women who gain more weight tend to hold onto that weight after the pregnancy more than women who gain less.
Women who gain too much during pregnancy will have a more difficult time losing the weight after the pregnancy has ended. As a result, they are more likely to remain overweight after pregnancy. This increases the risk of breast cancer and type 2 diabetes later in life. Gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy is best for the long term health of both the mother and the child.
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