For at least some moms-to-be, it’s extra body fat and not blood sugar levels that may be a key to their risk of having a big baby. Researchers found that among 472 pregnant women they followed, those who were heavy before pregnancy or gained too many pregnancy pounds were more likely to have a “large-for-gestational-age baby. That meant having a newborn who topped 8 pounds 13 ounces.
Experts have long known that women who have gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of having a big baby. And the baby’s weight is largely blamed on those mother’s high blood sugar levels. The new finding suggest that for women without gestational diabetes, its a mom’s excess pounds that really matter in her baby’s birth size, said lead researcher Dr.Ravi Retnakaran of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He says if we want to reduce the risk of having a big baby we need to target the mother’s weight gain in pregnancy.