Expecting mother

Another day, another pregnancy study, right? Well, it can certainly seem that way, with some research even appearing confusing, and contradicting the last. But in this case, the latest study underscores something we've seen reported many times before: It can really be bad for baby if mama doesn't stay fit while pregnant.

The new study, done in collaboration with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Harokopio University, is now available in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. The findings showed that baby's likelihood to be overweight or even obese by age eight jumps up strikingly when mama gains more than the recommended weight, doesn't exercise, or smokes when she is pregnant.

The findings are sobering, especially because it can be hard for expecting mamas to stay within their target weight-gain range.

When I was expecting last year, I had planned to work out all the way through. Little did I know I'd get so big and so uncomfortable—not to mention be considered higher risk because of my polyhydramnios, or excess fluid—that this just wasn't an option.

Beyond that, I frequently caved to cravings, and my appetite was ravenous. I can remember many Sunday brunches with my husband at our regular spot, where I ordered the breakfast combo and ate every last morsel on the multiple plates containing scrambled eggs, veggie sausage, potatoes, biscuit with butter—and pancakes with syrup! In all, I gained about 50 pounds, which did fall within the ACOG's recs for twin pregnancy, but exceeded my own doc's target of 40.

Hunger and cravings can just be a reality of pregnancy. And it can also just be hard to focus on eating right and exercising when you may be feeling utterly lousy—or even emotionally overwhelmed.

But more and more, studies seems to show that staying fit while pregnant really is the smart—and important—thing to do.

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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She's also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of lifestyle blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

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