Obesity in pregnancy can affect the child’s brain development. The bond between mother and child is the most intense bond in human nature. Bringing a child to life causes major changes in a mother’s life. Beyond joy and happiness, which can mean carrying a new person in your belly, there is something fundamental to this new role: Responsibility. And it’s not just about parenting and education. This responsibility begins with protecting your child’s health during pregnancy.
We want to share with you a study that suggests a link between obesity during pregnancy and problems with the child’s future brain development.
Obesity during pregnancy
The weight of a woman during pregnancy is often a concern both for herself and for the obstetrician. Weight gain should be gradual and within healthy limits for each pregnancy period. Complications that obesity can cause in women during pregnancy include high blood pressure, preeclampsia (pregnancy poisoning) and gestational diabetes.
You can find out if you are overweight or obese using a table that measures body mass index (BMI).
Obesity and pregnancy risks
When a pregnant woman gains too much weight, it is often believed that only her health will be compromised. So, we do not take into account that this is a problem that may also affect the baby. For example, preeclampsia can be risky for pregnancy. Although it is normal for mothers with this condition to give birth without complications, there is a risk of preterm labor or, in some cases, miscarriage.
A team of Columbia University and Texas University experts published a study on BMC Pediatrics and associated mothers’ obesity with some difficulties in their child’s development during pregnancy.
How the work was done
The team of epidemiologists, nutritionists and environmental health researchers studied 368 mothers and their children, both during pregnancy and at the age of 3 and 7. The 368 people selected belonged to the same economic and social family members. Ethnicity, marital status, education levels and IQ of mothers were taken into account. Attention was also paid to the pregnancy period and the environmental conditions to which the baby was born.
The mother’s feeding during pregnancy and whether the baby was breastfed was excluded from the analysis.
When children were 3 years old, tests were done to evaluate motor skills. The same tests were done when he was 7 years old 4 years later.
Child’s IQ can drop
In the studies of 3-year-old children, the researchers studied motor skills and stated that maternal obesity in pregnancy was linked to cases where children’s motor skills were slower.
When children were re-examined at the age of 7, it was discovered that the boys of mothers who were overweight or obese during pregnancy had a lower IQ than children born from women with normal weight. This difference was 5 points or more and only occurred in men.
Although the study found a link between obesity during pregnancy and the problems mentioned above, it was not possible to determine the cause or causes of it.
On the other hand, the study addressed the environment of each child and found that the effect of maternal obesity on the child’s IQ during pregnancy was lower when they grew up in a comfortable home and received stimuli for play and learning.
Do you know how much weight your mother gained while pregnant? If you are pregnant, what was your weight gain experience? Please share with us in the comments.
Obesity in pregnancy can affect the child’s brain development.