Gain weight with first baby put second at risk

Pregnancy

For women with an average body mass index, the risk of a stillbirth was 38 per cent higher if she gained between six kg and 11kg -or from just over 13 kg to 1st 7 kg -between pregnancies. And the likelihood of death in infancy was 27 per cent greater, a recent research found.

Which mothers gain as little as a stone after the birth of their first child put their second baby at greater risk of dying, a recent study has shown. Women who gained more than 11 kg, the chances of stillbirth were 55 per cent greater and of infant mortality 60 per cent more likely.

“Our findings highlight the importance of educating women about maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy and reducing excess weight before becoming pregnant as a way to improve infant survival”, Professor Eduardo Villamo, the study’s co-author, said. ¬†Researchers analysed more than 450,000 women in Sweden who had their first and second children between 1992 and 2012. The study, in medical journal The Lancet, included analysis of the risk of the second baby’s death in the first month after birth and also stillbirth.

excessive-weight-gain-during-pregnancyIt found mothers who gained more than four BMI units -on average around 11kg -between pregnancies had a 50 per cent greater risk overall of their baby dying in the first four weeks. But overweight mums who lost at least six kg before their second pregnancy reduced the likelihood by around 50 per cent. The chances of a stillbirth among both healthy and overweight mums rose incrementally with weight increase.Causes of death included birth asphyxia, infections and sudden infant death syndrome. Study coauthor Prof Sven Cnattingius added: “Once a mother has had her first baby, she should be advised to reduce her weight to the same as it was before getting pregnant.” Mums-tobe who take antibiotics in the last three months of pregnancy increase the risk of their baby suffering from wheezing, research of 3,500 Italian women has found. Childhood wheezing, which is not asthma, usually disappears by the age of five.

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