Monday, 14 April 2008

Post pregnancy weight loss: losing too much nor not enough can pose problems for future pregnancies

Women, who go on a dramatic weight-loss programme after the birth of their first child, are far more likely to have a pre-term birth the second time around, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown, who specialises in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy.

The greatest risk is among those whose body mass index (BMI) falls by five points or more between pregnancies, researchers have discovered.

By far the healthiest option – for mother and baby – is for the woman to get back to her weight before she first became pregnant, says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown.

However, researchers warn mothers who keep on the pounds between pregnancies that they greatly increase their chances of complications second time around.

Even an increase of just one or two extra units on the BMI scale significantly increases the risk of pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and gestational hypertension with the second pregnancy. A weight gain of more than three on the BMI scale heightens the chances of a stillbirth.

Excess weight is also a factor in infertility and a number of mothers who try for a second baby find it much harder to fall pregnant than the first time round. Excess weight can cause hormone imbalances in the main fertility hormones (oestrogen and progesterone), says UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown which may in part explain this phenomenon.

To find out more about Nutritional support during or before your pregnancy, contact UrBod Nutritionist Melody Mackeown Dip.ION (mBANT), specialist in pre-conceptual care, fertility and pregnancy care in the city of London, EC2. I have also written a free e-book on how you can improve your diet during your pregnancy, which can be obtained by clicking on my link.