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Would-be moms, managing weight during pregnancy may affect your child’s bone health

A new study has examined whether managing weight during pregnancy might affect children’s bone mass.

fitness Updated: Nov 08, 2018 13:02 IST
Weight Management,Weight Gain,Weight management in pregnancy
Does a woman’s weight gain during pregnancy affect baby’s bone health? (Shutterstock)

There is no benefit for children’s bone mass if women gain weight during pregnancy, says a new study. And this applies to both normal and overweight women prior to pregnancy, says Teresa Monjardino, lead author from the Universidade do Porto in Portugal.

“Until recently, it was a widely held scientific belief that any weight gain from the mother during pregnancy would have a beneficial effect on children’s bone mass,” said Monjardino.

Weight management strategies during pregnancy reduce child cardiometabolic risk such as diabetes and heart disease. However, because maternal weight has an overall positive correlation with a child’s bone mass, pregnancy weight management could adversely affect child bone health, said the researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, showed that in under and normal weight mothers, weight gain during pregnancy was associated with slightly increased bone mass at 7 years of age in children. On the other hand, in the case of overweight or obese mothers, no beneficial effect of weight gain on bone mass was observed.

“Our study results corroborate that there is no benefit in gaining weight above the US Institute of Medicine recommendations for pregnancy weight gain for children’s bone mass, in both normal and overweight women prior to pregnancy,” added Monjardino.

The team analysed prospective data from 2,167 mother-child pairs.

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First Published: Nov 08, 2018 12:56 IST