Does the size of your baby matter and can it predict the future?

Birth weights have been linked to the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes (T2) at both ends of the spectrum, in a ‘U’ shaped relationship. Both BIG (more than 4Kgs) and SMALL babies (less than 2.3Kgs) have been linked to an increased risk of T2.

Big babies often become big children and unfortunately, are more at risk of becoming big adults.

Why is this? Well it could be partly due to mum’s glucose levels while pregnant (even in non-diabetics), which supply a constant stream of sugar to the developing foetus and cause increase fat storage in bub.

But why the little ones… Skinny is good right?

Maybe not. It’s thought that nutrition restriction in the womb may switch on a ‘thrifty gene’ in bub, promoting insulin resistance, and thus an increased ability to conserve energy and improve survival during periods of starvation.

Of course these days, there are very limited periods of starvation, so this ‘thrifty gene’ will actually work against us, putting us more at risk of obesity and T2.

What can you do?
Pregnancy can be both a joyous and scary time - but it's important to work closely with your health team to help you have the most optimal pregnancy and limit any risks for you and your little one. Working with your team will include monitoring your baby's weight in order to make any necessary adjustments to your routine that may help.

Please see the following articles for more information: