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According to a new study, gaining weight between pregnancies significantly increases the risk of stillbirth or infant death.
The team of researchers in Sweden said that the findings are significant for women expecting a second child in the future. They also found that losing weight after first pregnancy reduces the chances of still birth.
The study included data from more than 450,000 women from the Swedish Medical Birth Register. The researchers studied risk of stillbirth and infant death, which is death within the first year of life for women whose weight changed between their first and second pregnancies. They said that mothers whose Body Mass Index increased by at least four units were as much as 55 per cent more likely to have stillborn and the baby is 29 per cent more likely to die in the first year compared to women who maintain weight.
The researchers said that women, who had a healthy weight and whose BMI rose by two to less than four units between pregnancies, faced lower risks. In this group, the risk of infant death was 60% higher for mothers whose BMIrose four units.
Lead researcher Professor Sven Cnattingius, from the KarolinskaInstitute in Stockholm, said, “The public health implications are profound.'Around a fifth of women in our study gained enough weight between pregnancies to increase their risk of stillbirth by 30-50%, and their likelihood of giving birth to babies who die in infancy increased by 27-60%, if they had a healthy weight during their first pregnancy.”
The study was reported in The Lancet medical journal.