Babies are more likely to grow fat in the womb if their mums are overweight, a new study has found.
Research at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has discovered that babies born to overweight or obese mums begin to build up large deposits of fat around their abdomens before they are born.
“I was very surprised to be able to detect such a clear effect of the mum’s BMI (body mass index) on the baby,” explained Professor Neena Modi, who led the study. “This is a very important finding indeed, opening the door to a new understanding of how a mum’s metabolism affects her baby.”
Using MRI scans during the pregnancies of 105 mums, the team measured the weight gained by the unborn babies and compared it to the weight of the mums, finding a clear link.
“This shows how sensitive the baby is to the environment experienced within the womb and how lifelong effects may be initiated before birth,” Professor Neena explained, adding that it was vital that women should be aware of the potential dangers of being obese in pregnancy.
Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet for your baby during pregnancy.