Navigation Links
Infants of overweight mothers grow more slowly
Date:8/6/2012

Pregnant women who are overweight or obese can encounter a host of health complications. The added weight also appears to affect how their children grow and develop, at least initially.

In a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, a team led by a University of Iowa researcher compared the weight and height of babies born to overweight and obese mothers with those born to normal-weight mothers.

Contrary to expectations, babies of overweight/obese mothers gained less weight and grew less in length than babies of normal-weight women from just after birth to three months. The overweight/obese mother babies also gained less fat mass than those born to normal-weight mothers. Fat mass in infants is widely considered to be crucial to brain growth and development. (That may explain why humans have the fattest newborns of any mammal.)

"We've found these children are not growing normally," says Katie Larson Ode, assistant clinical professor in pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the UI. "If what we have found is true, it implies that the obesity epidemic is harming children while they are still in utero and increases the importance of addressing the risk of obesity before females enter the child-bearing years, where the negative effects can affect the next generation."

Six in ten U.S. women of childbearing age are overweight or obese, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Children of overweight or obese mothers, in general, catch up to their normal-weight-mother peers at some point, according to studies; unfortunately, they also have a higher risk of continuing to rapidly gain weight in adolescence and becoming fat themselves, triggering health problems throughout their lifetimes.

"A message from this study is, 'Don't panic,'" Larson Ode says. "Pediatricians see a lack of (initial) growth, and they assume the child is not getting enough nutrition. But we believe the baby is in fact getting plenty."

After combing the literature for an explanation, Larson Ode and researchers at the University of Minnesota who assisted in the study think there are two reasons why babies of overweight or obese women lag initially in their physical development. The first deals with inflammation: fat cells that normally help suppress a person's immune system flare up when an adult is overweight, studies have shown. The researchers believes this state of warfare being waged in an overweight/obese pregnant mother's immune system may also inflame the fetus's developing immune system, diverting energy that otherwise would go to the baby's development.

"These (fat tissue-derived) hormones and inflammatory factors tend to have appetite/satiety regulating effects early on, and may exert their negative effects on growth both during gestation and through passage into the breast milk during postnatal development as well," says Ellen Demerath, Larson Ode's advisor at Minnesota and senior author on the paper.

The second cause has to do with how babies grow in the womb. One is through free fatty acids delivered by the mother via a growth hormone called IGF-1. The other is through a growth hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the baby's brain. The researchers think the cosseted baby is getting so many free fatty acid-derived growth hormones from its overweight mother that the other growth generatorthe pituitary glandslows its production.

So, when the baby is born and is cut off from the mother's growth line, the pituitary gland is not developed enough to pick up the slack, the researchers think. "It's just not mature yet," says Larson Ode, whose clinical appointment is in the Carver College of Medicine.

The study included 97 mothers, of which 38 were overweight or obese. None was diabetic. The researchers found babies of overweight/obese mothers gained 11 ounces less than those born to normal-weight mothers from two weeks to three months. They also put on 0.3 ounces less fat mass and grew nearly a half-inch less.

Larson Ode noted the sample size was small and cautioned the findings need to be confirmed with a larger population, as well as the possible reasons. The study is titled, "Decelerated early growth in infants of overweight and obese mothers" and was published online last month.


'/>"/>
Contact: Richard Lewis
richard-c-lewis@uiowa.edu
319-384-0012
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Infants exposed to specific molds have higher asthma risk
2. Same gene that stunts infants growth also makes them grow too big
3. Low-income moms under stress may overfeed infants
4. Women & Infants participating in study of treatment of common viral infection in pregnancy
5. Treatment to benefit African infants at risk of endemic fever
6. New analysis of premature infants heartbeats, breathing could be cues for leaving NICU
7. Overweight? Theres a vaccine for that
8. Omega-3 lowers inflammation in overweight older adults
9. Overweight? New research explains how proper sleep is important for healthy weight
10. Montreal researchers repel mortality in Malian mothers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Infants of overweight mothers grow more slowly
(Date:6/16/2016)... The global Biometric ... USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according to a ... proliferation and increasing demand in commercial buildings, consumer ... the market growth.      (Logo: ... of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric authentication and ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical ... premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young ... cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of ... More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... OTTAWA, ON (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... former DNA Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA ... joining the STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 ... 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently ... peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz ... of cancer care is placing an increasing burden ... expensive biologic therapies. With the patents on many ...
Breaking Biology Technology: