Women who gain more than 35 pounds during pregnancy could be more likely to be overweight 15 years later than those who gain less, new research suggests. A study of 2,342 Swedish women, presented at a European obesity conference, found that mothers who gained less during pregnancy were more successful at losing weight afterward and keeping it off.
In the West, the healthy amount of weight gain during pregnancy is 26 pounds for the average woman. However, the variation in weight gain among expectant mothers is huge. While some gain almost no weight at all, others put on more than 65 pounds.
The study conducted by Dr. Yvonne Linne at Huddinge University in Stockholm, Sweden, is the first to come up with a threshold at which women are likely to have trouble losing their pregnancy weight and keeping it off.
If you just allow these women to rip, even if they get a handle on themselves after pregnancy, not only have you increased the risk of these women becoming obese and diabetic, but you have produced a megababy and that baby is at risk for the rest of its life, he said.
The study followed 563 of the women for 15 years after their pregnancies. It found that the sex of the baby did not influence whether a mother was more likely to lose her weight and keep it off.