For now, the experts said, there are plenty of reasons for women to go into pregnancy as healthy as possible -- which includes being neither substantially overweight nor underweight.
Basatemur said his study results should be interpreted alongside existing weight recommendations. "The association observed in our study may be a further reason to follow this advice, and reinforce the need ... to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity in women of childbearing age," he said.
Obesity can make it more difficult to get pregnant, and it raises the odds of certain health problems for expectant mothers, such as pregnancy-related diabetes and high blood pressure. Obesity also has been linked to higher-than-normal risks of miscarriage, stillbirth and birth defects.
Van Lieshout agreed that "there are absolutely reasons" to strive for a healthy weight before pregnancy. "We just don't know if this is one of them," he said.
Learn more about having a healthy pregnancy from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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