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5/03/02
 

    


  

Careful What You Gain

The word is in girls! 

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy has been linked to increased breast cancer risk in later life.

But before you despair, check out the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended Weight Gain Chart - you're probably within limits and don't even know it (we certainly don't feel it!)

According to a study in Finland of 27,000 women, those who gained more than 38 pounds during pregnancy had a 40% greater chance of developing breast cancer after menopause than women who gained less weight.

Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, an associate professor of oncology at Georgetown University who led the research, found that women who keep on the added pounds after pregnancy are also at increased risk for breast cancer.

The study suggests that excessive weight gain increases pregnancy estrogen levels the fat cells make estrogen.  And elevated estrogen levels during pregnancy are related to increased breast cancer risk.

So what can we big bellies do given this important public health discovery?

We need to make sure that we stay healthy, not only for us but for our babies too!  We cannot use pregnancy as an excuse to gain weight just for the heck of it.

We here encourage you to speak with your health care provider and discuss a health plan for you and your baby that will work for you!

The author of this ground-breaking study is Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, mother of three. She can be reached by e-mail at: clarkel@georgetown.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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