Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend

For further information, please contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. As infant weights rise, parents are urged to take steps early to prevent obesity HealthDay, Sunday, March 1, 2009

SUNDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- ... The trend toward bigger and bigger babies is drawing concern from health experts as well ... American infants up to 6 months of age are 59 percent more likely to be overweight than were babies born 20 years ago, a recent study found.

And though chubby babies might be viewed as cute and healthy, parents need to think about preventing obesity at the earliest stages of life, health experts are warning. That means paying attention not only to infant weights, but also to a mother's weight before conception and her weight gain during pregnancy.

"A mother's weight gain during pregnancy, particularly gaining more than is recommended, is associated with an increased likelihood of childhood obesity," said Dr. Christine M. Olson, professor of community nutrition at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y.

The impact was greater among women who were overweight or obese before they became pregnant.

"... overweight mothers are at risk for having overweight infants," he said. "Mothers who have gestational diabetes ... are also at greater risk...."

What to do? Greer and Olson have a number of suggestions.

Besides getting down to a healthy weight before becoming pregnant, women should follow the weight-gain guidelines during pregnancy ...

Breast-feeding for the first four to six months can help reduce the chances that a child will become overweight ...

- Health and nutrition during pregnancy are vitally important for the health of the woman, her baby, and ultimately the family and community. Maintaining a healthy weight can be achieved through good nutrition, motivation, goal setting, exercise and know-how. I have worked with many women - and men, to achieve a healthy weight, more energy and better quality sleep.

For further information, contact me at Optimum Health & Nutrition, or Essential Birth Consulting.