The research, published last week, claims pregnant women who are considered obese or develop gestational diabetes are five times more likely have babies that are “excessively large” at around six months of their pregnancy.
According to the study, excessive growth of the fetus can begin weeks before at-risk pregnant women are screened for gestational diabetes.
The Royal College of Midwives says that the latest study for obesity in pregnancy and gestational diabetes provides further evidence that women “need to be the ideal weight” before becoming pregnant.
Responding to the research, Louise Silverton, Director of Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is an interesting study, however this provides more evidence of the need to be the ideal weight before pregnancy and of not eating for two; more needs to be done to determine how this can be done in a more systematic way than at present.
“Gestational diabetes is a condition that can affect some women during pregnancy and we know that many women who are overweight or obese at the time of conception or during their pregnancy may be at risk of developing gestational diabetes. Organisations will need to look at their own protocols, particularly around timing of testing to see is [sic] more can be done to effect change during pregnancy at a stage when it can improve outcomes.”
Researchers analysed data of 4,000 first-time pregnant women from the Pregnancy Outcome Prediction study.
The study was published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Keep up to date with the latest news from MIDIRS by signing up to our e-newsletter. Sign-up