Weight gain after 1st baby’s birth ups diabetes

Updated: May 24, 2011, 15:58 PM IST

Washington: A new study has revealed that women who gain weight between their first and second pregnancies have a heightened risk for developing pregnancy-related diabetes in their second pregnancy.

However, losing weight between the two pregnancies appeared to reduce gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) risk during the second pregnancy.

According to researchers, GDM is associated with an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes as well as subsequent diabetes in women and their offspring.

An examination of 22,351 women from Kaiser Permanente in Northern California over a 10-year period further supports the study.

The examination showed that women who gained 12 to 17 pounds between the first and second pregnancy were almost two times more likely to develop GDM compared to their peers whose weight remained stable (plus or minus 6 pounds between pregnancies).

On the other hand, women who lost more than 6 pounds between the first and second pregnancy reduced their risk of developing GDM by approximately 50 pc compared with women whose weight remained stable.

It also emerged that the association between losing weight and reduced GDM risk was strongest in women who were overweight or obese in their first pregnancy.

"Taken together, the results support the avoidance of gestational weight retention and postpartum weight gain to decrease the risk of GDM 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," said Samantha Ehrlich, project manager at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland.

The study appears online in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.