Study links mom’s pregnancy weight gain to baby developing ADHD, other mental disorders

“Our study found pregnant women with obesity and gestational diabetes had children with long-term mental health disorders such as ADHD,” lead author of the study, Verónica Perea, M.D., Ph.D., said in a press release. “We did not find this association when these women gained a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy.”

Another study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found children born before 39 weeks are more likely to report symptoms associated with ADHD. The researchers collected data on 1,400 9-year-old students from their teachers. The teachers evaluated their students using a scale that indicates symptoms of ADHD. The results of the study found that children who were born at 37-38 weeks scored 23% higher in hyperactivity and 17% higher in ADHD compared to the children born at 39-41 weeks.