Dr. Kristi Adamo’s research on gestational weight gain was featured in a story, “Pregnancy weight gain: How much is normal?,” that was recently published in Today’s Parent.

From the story:

Kristi Adamo, the paper’s lead author, a professor of paediatrics and a research scientist with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, explains that a baby’s experience in the womb is critical to his or her long-term health. “That nine-month period of time is when all of the organs and brain develop. If you provide a suboptimal environment, the baby isn’t destined for disaster, but it sets her up for a more challenging situation outside of the womb. It’ll be an uphill battle,” Adamo says.

A huge number of Canadian children are already experiencing that struggle. More than 30 percent of children are overweight or obese and struggling with related complications: Type 2 diabetes, early onset puberty and, later on, their own obesity-related fertility problems, to name a few. Children born to mothers who exceed guidelines for gestational weight gain—even by a smidge—are four times more likely to be overweight by preschool. They’re also more likely to remain overweight by age 12, which puts them at risk of struggling with their weight into adulthood.

It’s with an eye to helping the next generation avoid this uphill battle that Adamo and her colleagues have been working on a set of custom tools designed to help pregnant women chart a healthier course. While one of those will help guide doctors through conversations with expectant moms on healthy behaviours and weight gain, the crown jewel of the set is a smartphone app designed to give moms-to-be a personalized weight management system. The app, SmartMoms-Canada, is currently undergoing tests in the US with Adamo’s American counterparts, who are funded by the National Institute of Health. It blends both calorie-counting and physical activity advice based on each user’s pre-pregnancy body mass index, weight-gain trajectory and stage of pregnancy.

Click here to read the story in full for free.