Lucky Mom

Sep. 28, 2006

Small Weight Gain Between Pregnancies Risky

This is an interesting study reported in the British medical journal, The Lancet.

The researchers examined records of more than 150,000 Swedish women who delivered two children between 1992 and 2001.

They found that women who gain as little as 7 pounds between pregnancies can put themselves and their babies at medical risk, even if they don't become overweight.

The article provides examples of how even little weight gain can make a difference.

For instance, the authors offered the example of a 5-foot-5 woman who weighs 139 pounds before her first pregnancy. That would give her a healthy BMI of 23.

If she gained just 7 pounds before her second pregnancy, she'd move her BMI up a notch to 24, still considered healthy. But the new study suggests she would also raise her risk of becoming diabetic during the second pregnancy by about 30 percent.

If she gained 13 pounds, raising her BMI by 2 units and making her overweight, her diabetes risk would double.

"There's long been a perception that being morbidly obese is associated with diabetes, but we may now be seeing this with relatively small weight increases too," he said. "That's news."

Overall, the new study says gaining 1 or 2 BMI units increases the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy by up to 40 percent. Gaining 3 or more units raised the risk of a stillbirth by 63 percent.

How many women do you know didn’t lose all the weight from their first pregnancy or even gained a few pounds after delivery and prior to a second pregnancy? This study has a large sample size in which to find some staggering risks of some serious problems.

2 Comments Posted (Add Yours)


This study MUST have been done by a man. It's virtually impossible NOT to gain any weight when you are pregnant or between pregnancies. Anyway, isn't it just as bad with women who are underweight and are either pregnant or have just had a baby. Surely there should be a study about that!!!!!!


Karla - This study didn't include underweight women but I'm sure there have been studies of that too.

They weren't looking at the weight gain during the pregnancy but between it. I can't imagine there are too many women out there who didn't gain a few pounds between pregnancies. I mean they're not talking about much either that can make a difference. Scary!