Weight gain during pregnancy is decisive for the child’s health

By influencing the composition of babies’ intestinal microbiota, weight gain during pregnancy seems to be a decisive component in their long-term health.

 

Gaining too much weight during pregnancy constitutes a risk factor for various disorders in children, particularly obesity and asthma. Certain intestinal microbiotas may also contribute to the development of these diseases. Armed with these observations, researchers wondered if maternal weight gain during pregnancy was one of the factors likely to influence the constitution of the intestinal microbiota, which could explain its role in the development of certain childhood diseases.

They examined the composition of the intestinal microbiota in 84 babies and identified 4 profiles according to the dominant bacterial group. The researchers compared the bacterial composition of each baby’s intestinal microbiota with its mother’s weight gain during pregnancy. They noticed that the more the women gained weight when they were pregnant, the less likely their baby was to have a microbiota dominated by the bacteria involved in regulating intestinal immunity. It also appeared that children whose mothers gained fewer than 12kg had richer and more diverse microbiotas than those whose mothers had gained more weight. Analyzed together, these results suggest that weight gain by women during pregnancy influences the composition of the intestinal microbiota, and, consequently, that of their fetus, as well as, over time, playing a role in their child’s health.

 

Sources:

Robinson A. et al. Association of Maternal Gestational Weight Gain With the Infant Fecal Microbiota. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2017 Nov;65(5):509-515.