Mums’ asthma linked to below-weight babies

INFANTS whose mothers suffer asthma exacerbations while pregnant may be more likely to fail to thrive in the first six months of life, research suggests.

In a study of 120 mother-baby pairs, researchers from Newcastle in the NSW Hunter Valley found infants of mothers who had asthma weighed 0.5 kg less at six months of age than those born to mothers without the disease.

And mothers with asthma who had exacerbations in pregnancy had babies weighing an average 7.2 kg at six months, compared to 7.7 kg for infants of those who had no asthma attacks.

However, by 12 months of age, the babies had gained weight to be around equal to those born to mothers without asthma, researchers told the annual scientific meeting of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand in Perth last week.

Study author Professor Peter Gibson, director of the Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, University of Newcastle, said the mechanism for the growth