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Weight gain, loss during pregnancy can lead to obese kids

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2016 file photo, United States' Michael Phelps displays his gold medal for the men's 4 x 100-meter medley relay final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. MTV said Thursday, Aug. 25, that Phelps, along with gymnasts Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Lauren Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman will present awards at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

PHOENIX — Women who gain either too much or too little weight during pregnancy may have a link to the weight of their baby, according to a new study.

“Childhood obesity is on the rise, at the same time that obesity in the country has been on the rise too,” said Dr. Candice Wood, OBGYN at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital. “I guess it’s not too surprising that we may see a link in the some of the decisions we make as mothers.”

The weight gain, or lack thereof during pregnancy, affects the mother’s metabolism and that can have effects on the baby’s future metabolism, said Wood who is also an assistant clinical professor at the University of Arizona Medical School.

“I never want a woman who’s pregnant to go some diet where she’s only eating broccoli because she’s worried about her weight gain,” she said. “But we can usually find areas where maybe their eating a little bit too much or they’re indulging a little bit extra in desserts.”

It’s important to consult your doctor during pregnancy about how much weight gain is appropriate. Wood said she talks to her patients about weight at every visit, but just to talk, not to cause undue stress.

“I always stress with my patients that the amount of calories that they need for their pregnancy, extra for the baby a day, is about a half a sandwich,” she said. “We actually need more calories to breast feed than we do to have a baby be created appropriately in utero.”

The study was published April 14 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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