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Pregnancy weight gain and atopic disease in infants

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Optimal weight gain in pregnancy is a hot topic – arguments abound on risks of gaining too little in pregnancy, and conversely on the risks of gaining too much. I generally encourage my pregnant patients to follow a whole-foods, low-glycemic diet during pregnancy – and also to avoid calorie counting or overly restrictive diets, in the hopes of promoting healthy weight gain and body image during this period of rapid change.

Now, interesting new research led through the University of Toronto and Brown University in Rhode Island has highlighted a connection between increased gestational weight gain and risk of the infant developing atopic dermatitis (eczema). Compared to children of mothers who gained 25-34 lb, children of mothers who gained 35-44 lb and ≥45 lbs had an increased risk of atopic dermatitis.  Interestingly, higher maternal pre-pregnancy BMI was not associated with atopic dermatitis.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterized by dry, itchy, irritated skin – which can take a toll on the whole family when sleep is disrupted.

When pregnant parents are concerned about the potential of eczema, I also counsel them about the role of probiotics in preventing eczema in newborns (as I discuss further in this post), as well as keeping sugar intake in check, regardless of weight concerns (as I discuss further in this post).

I hope you have found this helpful, and do let me know if you have any questions!

If you are hungry for more evidence-based information in your pregnancy, sign up for my free webinar: 7 Pregnancy Myths Debunked – and get the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

And if you are a care-provider looking for evidence-based resources for your pregnant patients, please get in touch with us at support@myhealthypregnancyplan.com.

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details.

References:

Drucker, A. et al. (2018). Association between maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index, gestational weight gain, and offspring atopic dermatitis: a prospective cohort study. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 

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