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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 7:52 EDT

Weight Gain and Pregnancies = Diabetes?

May 26, 2011

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — How much weight a woman gains between her pregnancies may affect her risk of developing gestational diabetes, according to a new study. On the flip side, losing weight between pregnancies may reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes mellitus is associated with a higher risk of adverse perinatal outcomes as well as diabetes in women and their children.

Researchers studied 22,351 women over a 10-year period. They found those who gained 2.0-2.9 BMI units (about 12 to 17 pounds) between their first and second pregnancy were more than two-times more likely to develop gestational diabetes during the second pregnancy compared to women whose weight gain remained stable. Those who gained 3.0 or more BMI units (about 18 pounds or more) between the pregnancies were more than three-times more likely to develop gestational diabetes.

Women who lost more than 6 pounds between the first and second pregnancy reduced their risk of developing gestational diabetes in the second pregnancy by about 50-percent compared to those whose weight remained stable. This association was strongest in women who were overweight or obese during their first pregnancy.

“Taken together, the results support the avoidance of gestational weight retention and postpartum weight gain to decrease the risk of GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus) in a second pregnancy, as well as the promotion of postpartum weight loss in overweight or obese women, particularly those with a history of GDM,” Samantha Ehrlich, MPH, study lead investigator, was quoted as saying.

SOURCE: Obstetrics and Gynecology, May 2011