pregnant woman

It’s common knowledge that women love to eat a little extra when pregnant, but this study would make women think twice before they reach for that extra piece of anything they crave.

A research conducted by British researchers from the universities of Bristol and Exeter found that overweight mums tend to give birth to larger babies.

The researchers examined data from more than 30,000 healthy women and their babies across 18 studies.

All the women had European ancestry and lived in Europe, North America or Australia. They gave birth between 1929 and 2013.

The researchers examined genetic variants associated with women’s body mass index, blood glucose and lipid levels and blood pressure, together with measurements of those characteristics during pregnancy and babies’ birth weights.

A four-point higher body mass index (BMI) for mothers’ results in a 1.9 ounce (54 grams) higher birth weight for babies, the researchers found.

Researchers also determined ratios for correlations between higher glucose levels in mothers’ blood and higher birth weights, as well as higher blood pressure in mothers and lower birth weights.

“The estimated associations between these maternal traits and birth weight (either increased or reduced) are substantial and of clinical importance,” the authors wrote.

The researchers also found that lipids, or fat levels, in mothers’ blood do not appear to affect baby sizes, contrary to the findings of some previous studies.

According to Rachel Freathy of the University of Exeter Medical School, who co-wrote the report: “Being born very large or very small can carry health risks for a newborn baby, particularly when that’s at the extreme end of the spectrum”.