Weight gain for a pregnant woman seems like a given to most people. What most of us don’t think about is how much weight can be gained without posing a health risk to the mother and the child. Resent conclusions coming out of an ongoing study are revealing that there are indeed dangers in a pregnant woman gaining too much weight -the danger of gestational diabetes to be specific. Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research are reporting that women who gain more weight than is recommended by the Institute of Medicine have a 50% increased risk of developing GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus). Their study involved nearly 1,200 women from varying ethnic backgrounds over a three year period of time. The danger of pregnant women developing gestational diabetes is that it causes complications in as much as seven percent of pregnancies in the United States. GDM can lead to C-sections, early delivery and type 2 diabetes, and increases the child’s risk of developing obesity and diabetes later in life. Monique Hedderson, PhD, a scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and lead researcher recommended that “health care providers should talk to their patients early in their pregnancy about the appropriate gestational weight gain, especially during the first trimester, and help women monitor their weight gain. Our research shows that weight gain in early pregnancy is a modifiable risk factor for gestational diabetes.”
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