Birthed a Big Baby? The Diabetes Connection.

big-babyBirthed a Big Baby? The Diabetes Connection.

I was born, weighing less than seven pounds, with the body type that is often referred to as “petite”. (My one friend calls me “fun sized”.)  When I was pregnant, I did not expect my children to be born weighing much more than seven pounds—and they weren’t. But this was not the case for some friends I have who sport larger frames and who, themselves, were born “jumbo sized”.

A baby who tops nine pounds at birth is, in my opinion, a cuddlier looking baby. They are “quilted” with little creases ringing their wrists and ankles. Yet these bundles of cuteness need to serve as a possible red flag with regards to their mommas’ health—because the conditions surrounding their “enlarged” development can potentially usher in a not-so-cute blood sugar metabolic disease.

Pregnancies which result in babies who ultimately breach the nine pound threshold at birth statistically place mothers-to-be at an increased risk for gestational diabetes. For most, their pregnancy-induced type 2 diabetes will fade away soon after childbirth. But for 5-10% of these ladies, this unwanted condition will remain. The greater trouble, however, is that a full 25% will re-develop the life threatening disease of type 2 diabetes within the following 15 years. Yikes!

Even if a woman is free and clear of this sugar processing/insulin inefficiency problem during her pregnancy, the mere fact that she ushered a 9+ pound baby into this world significantly increases her risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the future.

So what’s the momma of a big ol’, cuddly baby to do? Two things. First, if you plan to have more children, put forth your best effort to stay within the weight gain guidelines that your doctor gives you. The bigger you get, often the bigger your baby will grow. Second, knowing that your body may very well “lean” towards this disease, be extra careful to maintain a healthy body weight, to not overeat on a regular basis—even “good for you foods”, and to follow a heart healthy diet which is low in sugar and low in white flour, white rice, and white potatoes along with a regular exercise routine.

This way you will stack the odds in your favor of seeing your grandchildren and great-grandchildren enter the world…possibly sporting quilted skin with delicious creases!

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