Limiting weight gain after gestational diabetes diagnosis could help prevent complications
medwireNews: Women with gestational diabetes who gain weight late in pregnancy have an increased risk for adverse birth outcomes, study results presented at the 2018 Diabetes UK Professional Conference in London suggest.
“We have been telling people to avoid excessive weight gain [during pregnancy] for some time,” but “we now have data to say what you do for the last 8 weeks of pregnancy matters,” study lead Claire Meek (University of Cambridge, UK) told medwireNews.
“I think it’s a really empowering message to say actually what you do now matters,” she added.
The researchers evaluated pregnancy outcomes in 546 women with gestational diabetes, and found that those who gained weight between weeks 28 and 36 of gestation were 17% more likely to deliver large for gestational age (LGA) infants, and 18% more likely to require instrumental delivery, than those who maintained a stable weight.
Women who gained weight during late pregnancy also required higher doses of long-acting insulin at week 36 of gestation, and had higher glucose concentrations after giving birth, said Meek.
Moreover, she reported that women who gained weight over the duration of pregnancy had a significant 8% increased risk for delivering LGA infants and were a significant 7% less likely to deliver small for gestational age infants compared with those who did not gain weight.
Although these findings are “preliminary,” they “suggest that there is an opportunity for women to improve their health during pregnancy,” said Meek.
“There is an opportunity for women to have healthier, safer pregnancies and healthier babies if they keep their weight stable after diagnosis [of gestational diabetes],” she concluded.
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