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PHOENIX -- Women who gain either too much or too little weight during pregnancy may have a link to the weight of their baby, according to a new study.

"Childhood obesity is on the rise, at the same time that obesity in the country has been on the rise too," said Dr. Candice Wood, OBGYN at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital. "I guess it's not too surprising that we may see a link in the some of the decisions we make as mothers."

The weight gain, or lack thereof during pregnancy, affects the mother's metabolism and that can have effects on the baby's future metabolism, said Wood who is also an assistant clinical professor at the University of Arizona Medical School.

"I never want a woman who's pregnant to go some diet where she's only eating broccoli because she's worried about her weight gain," she said. "But we can usually find areas where maybe their eating a little bit too much or they're indulging a little bit extra in desserts."

It's important to consult your doctor during pregnancy about how much weight gain is appropriate. Wood said she talks to her patients about weight at every visit, but just to talk, not to cause undue stress.

"I always stress with my patients that the amount of calories that they need for their pregnancy, extra for the baby a day, is about a half a sandwich," she said. "We actually need more calories to breast feed than we do to have a baby be created appropriately in utero."

The study was published April 14 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Corbin Carson,

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