SINGAPORE: Mothers-to-be, who keep their weight gain within an optimal range during pregnancy, may help avoid complications for mother and baby at childbirth, according to study.

The study was done by KK Women's and Children's Hospital (Kandang Kerbau Hospital) and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.

This first of its kind study in Singapore has found that inadequate or excessive weight gain during pregnancy and pre-pregnancy obesity may increase the risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension and birth complications such as unplanned Caesarean Section.

The study involved some 1,600 women who had their first antenatal visit in their first trimester at Kandang Kerbau Hospital from January to April 2008.

While more data need to be gathered, Dr Tan Thiam Chye, who is one of the principal investigators of the study, said the findings will give a very good reason to remind pregnant women to manage their maternal weight gain in a holistic way through nutrition and exercise.

According to the study, about 42 per cent of the women were also found to be overweight or obese at their first antenatal visit in their first trimester.

Channel NewsAsia - Study shows optimal weight gain during pregnancy may help avoid complications at childbirth -