Ugh, Yet Another Reason to Feel Bad About Postpartum Baby Weight

A new study says weight gain between pregnancies is not just unhealthy for mom, but baby, too.
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A lot of moms want to lose our baby weight between pregnancies to look and feel good about ourselves. Of course, that can be a struggle for many of us—after all, there's limited time to focus on diet and exercise with a new baby in the house. Sometimes the pounds don't come off very readily, and more pounds can even slowly creep on as moms attempt to adjust to their new lives. Hey, it happens!

But now a new study published in the journal PLOS says gaining too much weight between pregnancies might harm our next baby. Just like everything else in our lives, it isn't just about us anymore!

Researchers in Stockholm looked at 532,858 second-born infants from the Swedish Medical Birth Register who had been born at full-term, or after 37 weeks. They found that moms who gained 4 kg/m2, or about 8.8 pounds, or more between pregnancies had a 33 to 78 percent increased risk of their babies having a low Apgar score (a measure of newborn health), neonatal seizures, and meconium aspiration (that's when a baby inhales his waste and amniotic fluid before or during birth), when compared with moms whose weight was stable.

It's important to note more research is needed to determine what other factors contribute to adverse outcomes for babies whose moms gained excess weight between pregnancies. But one thing is clear: It's pretty much never healthy for women to be overweight, whether you're trying to conceive, are pregnant, are in between pregnancies, or are so done with having babies you need a new word for "done." And in this case, carrying excess weight is even unhealthy for your baby.

In a press release, researchers said, "Encouraging women to normalize BMI before pregnancy and to avoid weight gain between pregnancies is likely to be an important measure to improve infant health."

So moms, if you don't do it for yourselves, do it for your baby!

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.

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