When you’re pregnant, you spend a lot of time on scales. Every doctor appointment begins with hopping (or waddling) up for a weigh-in. Health care workers then plot those numbers into a (usually) ascending curve as the weeks go by.
A morbid curiosity about exactly how enormous you’re getting isn’t what’s behind the scrutiny. Rather, the pounds put on during pregnancy can give clues about how the pregnancy is progressing.
Weight gain during pregnancy is tied to the birth weight of the new baby: On average, the more weight that mothers gain, the bigger the babes. If a mother gains a very small amount of weight, her baby is more likely to be born too early and too small. And if a mother gains too much weight, her baby is at risk of being born large, which can cause trouble during delivery and future health problems for babies.
But staying within the recommended weight... Read More
Ultrasounds during pregnancy can be lots of fun, offering peeks at the baby-to-be. But ultrasounds aren’t just a way to get Facebook fodder. They are medical procedures that involve sound waves, technology that could, in theory, affect a growing... Read More
For mice, birth mode matters when it comes to weight. Within their first years of life, pups born by C-section gained more weight than mice born vaginally, researchers report. Scientists attribute this heft to different microbiomes — the communities... Read More
Words can’t describe the pandemonium that follows a child’s birth, but I’ll try anyway. After my first daughter was born, I felt like a giant had picked up my life, shaken it hard, martini-style, and returned it to the ground. The familiar objects... Read More
When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time searching for good information about how to keep both my baby and myself healthy after birth. Googling “placenta” and “eat,” I got a list of stories that reached nearly opposite conclusions about the... Read More
You may have read the news this week that pregnancy shrinks a mother’s brain. As a mom-to-be’s midsection balloons, areas of her cerebral cortex wither, scientists reported online December 19 in Nature Neuroscience.Yes, that sounds bad. But... Read More
When I first found out my daughter existed, she was about half the size of a mini chocolate chip.I was six weeks pregnant; she was four weeks into development. (The pregnancy timer officially begins two weeks before conception.) Already, the... Read More