What You Do During Pregnancy – Long Term Effects on Your Child

So, many of you know I am at a Maternal Nutrition conference at the University of Minnesota this week. It is so interesting and I am learning a lot from some of the top people in their given field…And lucky you, you get the information too!!! 🙂

The topic that really struck me today was about the effects of a pregnant mother’s glucose levels on the likelihood of her child developing obesity. We all know that gaining too much weight during pregnancy is not recommended, but do we know why? Welp, besides the initial thought of “I don’t want to gain too much weight while I’m pregnant because I’ll never be able to lose it all,” we should be thinking about what impact does MY weight gain have on my developing child???

Here is a list of things I wish I would have known while I was pregnant (and gaining enough weight to be pregnant with a small elephant):

  1. Children of mothers with higher levels of glucose during pregnancy, on average, are bigger and fatter.
  2. Intrauterine exposure to high maternal glucose is associated with lower insulin sensitivity and more insulin resistance…(In English – insulin sensitivity is good and insulin resistance is bad).
  3. High Maternal glucose may lead to insulin sensitivity of a child independent of child adiposity (aka the amount of fat a child has)
  4. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy may over-feed you child in utero, leading to an increase in insulin production by your developing baby’s liver –> This can cause your child’s liver to prematurely “burn out,” leading to type II diabetes
  5. Excess fuel from mother crossing the placenta to the baby may cause a greater capacity for fat storage, lower insulin sensitivity and central insulin resistance (aka brain is unable to recognize “full signal” and those children are more susceptible to overeating)
  6. At least a portion of childhood obesity may NOT be caused by children’s lifestyle but rather by the mother’s habits during pregnancy

Ugh! Sorry in advance to my little one for giving her an unfair disadvantage by stuffing my face while pregnant :- Obviously none of these things guarantee that a child will develop childhood obesity and there are a lot of other contributing factors. But I figure anything we can do as pregnant mothers to decrease the likelihood of our children becoming an unhealthy weight, the better.

I hope some of you found this beneficial! I know I did… I guess there is always room for improvement with the next pregnancy…

Love, Macy

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2 thoughts on “What You Do During Pregnancy – Long Term Effects on Your Child

  • April 27, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Insulin is from the pancreas not the liver.

    • April 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks – nothing like pregnancy brain 🙂


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