No Eating for Two

02.23.10 Too many pounds in the first trimester put moms-to-be at high risk for gestational diabetes

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If you're pregnant and eating enough for two people, take heed of this news: A new study found that excessive weight gain in the first trimester can increase the danger of gestational diabetes, which can affect mom and baby even after birth, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The study's findings, published in the March issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, revealed that moms-to-be who added more pounds than recommended by the U.S. Institute of Medicine were 50 percent more likely to develop gestational diabetes compared to those women who stayed within IOM guidelines. (If you're unsure about how many pounds are OK, check out our How Much Weight Should I Gain? chart.)

The study's lead author reminds moms-to-be that women only need an extra 100 to 300 calories a day while pregnant, the Times reports. If you are eating for two, read through our top 5 prenatal nutrition blunders and how to avoid them.

Gestational diabetes causes complications in as many as 7 percent of U.S. pregnancies, and it can lead to early delivery, Cesarean sections and type II diabetes in moms. It also boosts a child's risk of developing diabetes and obesity later in life. Plus, a recent study reported by Crib Notes found that gestational diabetes is also tied to language delays in children. Also of concern to medical experts is the rising number of women who are beginning their pregnancies as diabetics.

For a quick take on one way to keep diabetes at bay while you're expecting, check out our Avoiding Gestational Diabetes tips. Also, one of our writers was singing the Sugar Blues and shares her experience of being screened for gestational diabetes.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.