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Overweight Mothers give birth to fat babies?

(128 Posts)
worraliberty Mon 26-Sep-11 10:20:22

AIBU to think that measuring the BMI of babies in the womb, is a step too far? I mean, surely a child's birth weight (unless it's extremely high/low) isn't exactly an indicator of anything much...considering all babies feed differently?

My DS2 was only 5lb 7oz (the smallest by far of my 3 DS) and yet, he's the heaviest of all of them and gained about an ounce per day from birth.

Other babies, can be born heavy and lose an ounce a what does the study really mean in terms of anything much? confused

aldiwhore Mon 26-Sep-11 10:23:05

I was overweight with both of my babies.... not vastly overweight, but still overweight.

My first was a skinny long thing that resembled a rubber chicken.
My second was a plump red rugby ball.

OTheHugeRaveningWolef Mon 26-Sep-11 10:24:38

If that's true, then surely overweight mothers should take up smoking while pregnant.


worraliberty Mon 26-Sep-11 10:24:52

Lmao @ rubber chicken grin

I had 3 steak 'n kidney puddings

VajazzleMyMooCow Mon 26-Sep-11 10:25:34

Mmm. I wasn't overweight with any of mine. The first was a chunky 9lb 10oz and the second 7lb 14oz

worraliberty Mon 26-Sep-11 10:28:49

Still it's only 31 out of 105 so is it conclusive?

Of the 105 babies – 54 boys and 51 girls – a total of 31 babies had more adipose, or fat, tissue around their abdomen than normal.

piprabbit Mon 26-Sep-11 10:29:04

Given how wildly inaccurate estimates of birth weight and size can be, I think any attempt to measure BMI would be doomed to failure.

MissVerinder Mon 26-Sep-11 10:29:12

Let's be fair, though, a sample size of 105 isn't huge, is it? And where are they from? Was it a true representation of the general female population?

Even L'Oreal use bigger sample groups for their mascara!

It's like me picking up 105 women from where I live and surmising that because 95% of them smoke, that 95% of all women smoke.

"If that's true, then surely overweight mothers should take up smoking while pregnant."

Sounds sensible to me - both me and a friend gave birth within weeks of each other, both overweight with similar BMIs. Her DS was a whole lb lighter than mine, shes a smoker, I'm not. Both "normal" weight range though grin

OddBoots Mon 26-Sep-11 10:35:26

I don't see the harm in measuring it, scientific knowledge comes from investigation and I think most of us want to be treated using the best medical knowledge there is.

It is becoming very clear that our epigenome (loosely speaking, chemical groups that add different markers to our DNA depending on the environment we experience) has a huge influence on our later health and that of our children and grandchildren, this does need looking into.

For what it is worth epigenetics this isn't just another stick to bash pregnant women with, men don't get out of it as their activities change sperm too and it is paternal epigenome studies that have the strongest evidence that the effects go down the generations.

How we deal with the information is still a matter for personal choice.

Imnotaslimjim Mon 26-Sep-11 10:35:39

I'm overweight and was when I had both of my children. DS is 5 and we've just had a letter saying he needs a checkup because he's severely underweight. He eats like a horse though so there isn't much we can do about it. Dr has said he's fine. DD looks like she's heading the same way, which I'm grateful for as the ladies in my family seem predisposed to being overweight.

worraliberty Mon 26-Sep-11 10:39:52

OddBoots I don't see the harm either and I believe that anyone planning a baby should get themselves in the best shape possible to avoid complications to both the baby and themselves. This includes giving up smoking, alcohol (apart from maybe the very odd glass) and losing weight if they are overweight or obese.

I'm just wondering if these findings mean anything long term, considering how babies gain and lose weight differently after they are born.

PetiteRaleuse Mon 26-Sep-11 10:41:13

Since they can't work out the estimated weight accurately I'd say fussing about a fetus's BMI is a tad ambitious.

FWIW I generally weigh about 55kg. I put on about 12kg during pregnancy and the baby was well over 4kg. Far bigger than the 3.5kg estimated, and bigger than any other baby on my side of the family ever (well, in the last couple of generations). Husband's family's babies all huge though. So I'd say genetics is something to do with baby weight.

And honestly, who cares how big they are when they come out (except those unlucky women who have to squeeze them out). Obsession with weight is going too far when it worries about fetus.

The money spent on this study should be far more concerned wth encouraging women to keep to healthy, varied and plentiful diets throughout pregnancy.

OddBoots Mon 26-Sep-11 10:42:34

worraliberty, I guess they will find out if they study more babies and follow them for a longer term.

I think I am probably in agreement that there is very little to gain from publishing this study this early but the chances are it was just a small bit in a journal and the newspaper did as papers do and thought 'that would sell papers'.

worraliberty Mon 26-Sep-11 10:48:33

The money spent on this study should be far more concerned wth encouraging women to keep to healthy, varied and plentiful diets throughout pregnancy

To be fair, they're already doing that and yet it says In adults, high amounts of fat around the stomach and in the liver impair their control of blood sugar, leading to diabetes. Problems associated with obesity are set to cost the NHS up to £6.3 billion a year by 2015

So perhaps they're looking from as many angles as they can?

Elsjas Mon 26-Sep-11 10:49:05

Apart from being pregnant, I weigh around 7 stone 8 pounds. Dd1 weighed 8lb 3oz (75th percentile at birth), ds1 weighed 9lb 5oz (95th percentile at birth). Dd1 stayed on the 75th percentile for the first few years and now is just below average at aged 10. Ds1 tumbled down the weight chart and now is a skinny little thing aged 6. From my experience, birth weight has nothing to do with childhood weight or indeed adult weight.

lesley33 Mon 26-Sep-11 10:58:21

Birth weight may have nothing to do with child weight. But there is increasing evidence that birth weight and other influences on the foetus, do have an impact on adult health. It makes sense to investigate this far more so that future advice can be evidence based.

So for example, there is a theory that a low birth weight puts you at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. If this is proven, then giving advice on how to try and avoid a low birth weight makes sense.

OddBoots Mon 26-Sep-11 11:00:43

I think it is easy to think weight=fat but that doesn't seem to be what this study is showing, it doesn't seem to mention the birth weights of babies but instead talks about abdominal/organ-based fat deposits. You can have a heavy baby without it having the type of fat deposits studies show to cause health problems.

worraliberty Mon 26-Sep-11 11:01:14

Actually I missed this bit, I suppose this may be what they're getting at.....

"Newborn babies usually have about 700g of adipose tissue, but for each unit increase in maternal BMI, this increased by approximately 7g with a huge build-up in fat in the babies’ livers

Perhaps what they're saying is, there's a chance of organ damage to the babies of overweight/obese Mums because the fat distribution is different to that of the baby of a non overweight/obese Mum?

They haven't made it very clear though.

RunnerHasbeen Mon 26-Sep-11 11:10:36

Scientists looking at this and the media reporting it are different things. Looking for the effects of womb environment on a person's health is the most understudied of the risk categories and it is irrelevant if some people get their feelings hurt reading about research. This process is hardly going to be reeled out to everyone, given the cost and how many easier ways there are to estimate how healthy someone is being. If anything is unreasonable here it is the low standard of science correspondents and sensationalist slants of the media, not the research itself.

worraliberty Mon 26-Sep-11 11:13:47

I'm not sure that's a particularly sensationalist story there from the Telegraph.

I bet the Daily Wail will give it some welly though!

MrsPlugThePlumber Mon 26-Sep-11 11:13:50

How can they tell it's because the mother is obese at the moment.

Perhaps it's an indicator that mothers who are genetically more likely to be obese have babies who are genetically more likely to be obese.

Have I missed something?

meltedchocolate Mon 26-Sep-11 11:15:27

I was a size 8. DS was 9lbs 1oz. Was all in the length, brilliant child had a smaller than average head circ grin

TheHumanCatapult Mon 26-Sep-11 11:18:07

Slim size 10-12 with ds1 and Ds 2

Ds1 8.3
Ds2 10.6 both very long babies 61.5 ds1 ds2 62cm

Overweight for dd 4.10 but she was early plus I had very bad hyperhemis ? Plus she had ux genetic condition

Ds3 6lb healthy no problems

TheHumanCatapult Mon 26-Sep-11 11:20:48

Plug see my dc would disapprove overweight mum = overweight children

All mine are slim with ds2 being very tall ,6.1 at 14 ands not dine yet .ds1 is 5.11 so not tiny

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