Finally, Men Get Blamed for Something About Pregnancy Weight
Listen, I'm all about science and the ways that science can help pregnant women have better, healthier pregnancies.
I'm grateful for the advances that have let us know that all pregnant women should definitely not get X-rays, that there are drugs that can cause birth defects, that tests can help save a baby's life before it's even born.
But I also have to admit that I get a teensy, tiny bit tired of all of the medical studies and clinical data that seem to focus on one thing and one thing only: how much a pregnant woman weighs.
And look, like I said, I get it. We know that excessive pregnancy weight comes with more complications. I get that. But I also get what it's like to be pregnant and gain weight seemingly just by breathing, making you feel all around terrible and guilty and wonder if you're ruining your baby forever. A woman seems to bear the full brunt of everything that could possibly go wrong with her child from the moment of conception on. It's a lot of pressure for one person, am I right?
Which is why I have to say it was rather relieving to finally, finally see a study that focused on the other half of the DNA contributor and how much, for a change, he weighs.
OK, so technically, the study focused on how much the grandfathers of babies weighed and how even some extra pounds in grandpa could drastically affect the future generations. The interesting part was that even if the fathers of the babies were a normal weight, if the grandfathers had been overweight at the time of the fathers' conceptions the variations of DNA could make their way into the grandchildren's genes.
Apparently, being overweight changes certain aspects of DNA and how genes are activated later in life, a change that will live on through generations. The sons and grandsons (but not the daughters) of overweight men were more likely to develop health complications such as fatty liver disease and diabetes.
The good news is is that the changes seemed to disappear with the next generation, so great-grandsons were not affected. And the even better news is is that science is finally putting more time and effort into studying how the health of fathers–not just mothers–affects babies too.