While expectant mums have long been advised to ‘eat for two’, new data suggests that excessive weight gain during pregnancy could increase a woman’s risk of obesity and the associated health problems.
Some weight gain during pregnancy is necessary to aid the baby’s growth and development, but a study by the University of Bristol found that mums gaining more than the recommended amount struggled to lose the excess after birth.
The health of almost 4,000 women was assessed sixteen years after they gave birth, and found those who had gained more than the recommended weight during their pregnancy were three times more likely to be overweight or obese.
Women whose pregnancy weight gain was low were at lower risk of becoming overweight or obese, or developing subsequent health troubles.
Dr Abigail Fraser, the main author of the report, said: ‘Our findings suggest that regular monitoring of weight in pregnancy may need to be reconsidered because it provides a window of opportunity to prevent health problems later in life.’