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Dangers of Pregnancy Weight Gain - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Dangers of Pregnancy Weight Gain

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Eat for two: That's what many expectant moms believe, but now experts are warning that obesity among pregnant women is on the rise, and overweight mom can lead to a kid who's overweight down the road.

Carrying her second son was harder than her first, but 30-year old Bay Duong Wright says what lies ahead is even more daunting. She's trying to shed more than 50 pounds that she gained during her second pregnancy.

"You're like 'oh I have to have that pizza,' and you don't even care if it's 2 hours away, you'll go drive two hours away or make your husband go get it," Duong Wright explains.

Sapna Protheroe is 28 weeks along and a self-described health nut, but she says her family exercises an Indian tradition making sure the mom-to-be is always full, and then some.

"They're feeding me first, you're eating for two.. but the thing is the 2nd person is only a pound and a half," explains Protheroe.

Dr. John Morton talks about what he's seen with pregnant patients, "I think it's a 9 month celebration that maybe goes too far."

He says when culture kicks in sometimes so do the calories. "We see that in Hispanic cultures for sure where mom is supposed to gain a lot of weight."

But the trend is rising with all women in the U.S. The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show that one out of every five pregnant women is now obese gaining about 50-60 pounds, but Dr. Morton says the recommended weight gain is only 15-25 pounds. He says women should only be eating 300 extra calories a day.

More than just becoming heavy, is how much those extra pounds can hurt your health. When you carry extra weight, it does predispose you to developing diabetes, and to giving birth early, which could lead to a C-section, as well as high blood pressure. The consequences go way beyond mom.

Dr. Morton says, "Big moms end up having big babies, and when you have a bigger baby, that baby's at future risk for becoming obese."

To help maintain a healthy weight, Dr. Morton suggests breastfeeding, moderate exercise, and networking with other expectant moms.

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