February 2010


Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feb 2010 published a study out of Norway looking at exercise, BMI, and baby birth weight.

Findings?

They looked at 43000+ women aged 15-49 who were pregnant with a single fetus.  The women’s exercise was walking jogging, biking, weight training, aerobics, etc.  They averaged 6 times a month for the first half of pregnancy, and then once a week until week 30. 

The average weight of the infants at birth was 3,677 grams (8 pounds. Ouch!), and those who exercised during pregnancy did not have a significant effect on birth weight.

BUT, they did find an association with BMI. 

What is BMI? BMI is body mass index, to do it in US measurements, it is 703 x weight (lb)/ height (inches) squared.  BMI 18.5-23.9 is normal, 24-29.9 is overweight, and greater than 30 is obese.

The prepregnancy average BMI of the women in the study was 24. Fleten’s team found each unit increase in the mother’s BMI was associated with 20 grams (0.70 ounces) heavier birth weight.  So an increase in BMI of 5 units — 29 versus 24 — would cause a birth weight increase of 103 grams (3.63 ounces).

The Norwegian doctors suggest doctors focus on preventing or treating overweight and obese women of childbearing age to help reduce the risk of giving birth to babies who weigh too much. (OUCH!)

SOURCE: Obstetrics and Gynecology, February 2010

If only unicorns were real. 

I hear patients say all the time “I can tone that skin up later when I start to exercise again.”  Ug.  I am the poor girl who has to correct them.  I have to tell them that unicorns and faries are not real.  I wish you could retighten the skin.

Things that do not tighten the skin:

  • exercise
  • improving the underlying muscles “toning”
  • creams
  • lasers
  • massage

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just take off our skin and throw it in the dryer? Shrink it right back up like those jeans you can barely get on after the wash?

But alas, it does not work like that.

Skin is like a bathing suit.  Skin tone is like the elastic in the suit.  When the elastic is gone, it is gone.  The only way we have of tightening skin is to cut it out.   Volume makes skin look better (ie fat under the skin), as it puffs out the skin.  Hydration keeps skin better, though drinking lots of water doesn’t go to the skin- you likely pee most of it out.  I do see lasers which improve the look of the skin for a short time- 3-4 weeks- due to the swelling following the procedure.  When the swelling goes, so does the “improvment.”

Don’t let someone sell you a rainbow.  Many people use tricks with photography to try to convince you.