herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Big babies are more likely to be healthy when they grow up

WOMEN are giving birth to bigger babies than ever before -- and health experts said that it is a solid foundation for their future.

Nutritionists believe that a big baby means that the individual will have less health problems later in life.

Racing PR guru Tamso Doyle (30) welcomed a baby girl weighing 10lb "on the nose" into the world last week.

And actor Orlando Bloom's partner Miranda Kerr gave birth to a bouncing baby boy during the week.

"He weighed 9lb 12oz -- a very healthy and big baby boy," she said. "I gave birth to him naturally; without drugs or painkillers and it was a long, arduous and difficult labour, but Orlando was with me the whole time supporting and guiding me through it."

Nutritionist Aveen Bannon, who gave birth to a 9lb 7oz baby herself, said that it was because women were doing everything right regarding their diet.

"What women should be aiming for is anything above 8lb," she said.

"From a health perspective, when the first weight is above this it means that the baby will be less likely to have problems with obesity, heart disease, diabetes or any of these conditions later on in life.

"The most important time of nutrition in our lives is pregnancy and in the first two years -- the baby doesn't have to catch up on the growth and put on weight in the process."

Aveen, who is based in The Dublin Nutrition Centre, said that babies grow rapidly after birth and a good baby weight bodes well for their future health.

Babies who don't need to "catch up on growth" are less likely to have problems with their weight and any knock-on problems.

"From a woman's physical point of view, you don't want them to be too big," she said.

But she said that this additional look at diet should not mean that the mother is "eating for two".

"You don't need extra calories -- the digestive tract slows down -- but you need to increase calcium, vitamin, iron intake," Aveen explained.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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