University of BristolBeing over-weight during pregnancy seems to affect children in the future. A recent study by the University of Bristol apparently displayed evidence that gaining excess weight during pregnancy leads to future heart risks in the child. The scientists suggested that expecting mothers should remain healthy to overcome this.

Scientists analyzed the data provided by the Children of the 90s study. It included information about women who put on more weight during pregnancy than recommended by the 2009 Institute of Medicine’s guidelines. They reported that children of the over-weight pregnant mothers by the age of nine were 1 kg heavier than children of accurate weight pregnant mothers.

Apart from reporting a waist larger by 2 cm and 1 kg more body fat, the children also seemed to have an elevated systolic blood pressure by 1 mmHg. The investigators registered a 15 percent increase in the levels of inflammatory markers. But a decrease in the level of (good) HDL cholesterol was noted by 0 .03 mmol/l.

The authors also gathered detailed information from antenatal records about mothers’ weight gain during pregnancy. They not only evaluated over 5,000 children during the 90s when nine year old but also collected blood samples of 3,457 children. They then aimed to determine the relationship between pre-pregnancy weight and weight gain in pregnancy with cardiovascular disease risk factors in the children.

Professor Debbie Lawlor enlightened that data from the Children of the 90s study is beneficial and ensured that pregnant women get a regular check of their weight. But this practice was stopped in the mid-1990’s so that the Children of the 90s study remains the only source of studying the effects of weight gain in pregnancy.

The experts affirmed that weight gain is a very complex problem because it determines various factors together. It explains the amount of weight gained by the mother, the quantity of amniotic fluid and the increase in the mother’s blood volume. The investigators shared that an expecting mother should maintain a healthy weight.

The study is published in the current edition of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.