Woman's pregnancy weight can impact child's chance for obesity

If you're planning on starting a family, it's important for women to take care of their health before pregnancy.

If women are over-weight before expecting or gain a lot of weight while pregnant, it can affect the child's chance for obesity and other related problems.

Every 2 pounds of excess weight before pregnancy raised the risk for childhood obesity by 4 and a half percent. Children of women who gained excessive weight during pregnancy were 50-percent more likely to be obese.

Experts say simple steps before conception can make a big difference.

"If you are overweight, before you get pregnant, it would be a great idea to maybe try and lose some weight, get into better shape, work on your eating/dietary habits, getting into a regular exercise program," said Dr. Jeffrey Chapa, Cleveland Clinic.

For women who are already struggling with excessive extra weight, Dr. Chapa says a standard weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy is too much - 5 to 10 pounds is more appropriate.

But as always, it's best to talk with your healthcare provider about what is right for you.

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