Children born to obese mothers have an increased risk of suffering from the same condition. The umbilical cells are evident of how obesity is passed from mother to child. Altered expression of genes responsible for regulating cell energy and metabolism are evident in infants born to overweight women compared to similar cells from children born to non-obese mothers.
Blood, fat, nutrients and some other substances flows in maternal blood through the umbilical cord from the mother to the feutus. Increased lipid and fat levels thus gets transferred from the mother to her child increasing the chances of the child having obesity too. The umbilical cord is thus the agent allowing for the exchange of nutrients, oxygen, fats, blood, metabolites and other substances between mother and child. It is solely responsible for transporting these materials from the placenta to the embryo.
Obesity in pregnant mothers, correlated with lower expression of genes regulating mitochondria and of other genes regulating the production and metabolism of lipids in umbilical cells. Mitochondria is the powerhouse of body cells. Metabolic distresses are readily detectable in some children at birth owing to maternal obesity. Analyses of fetal blood from umbilical cord veins of infants born to obese mothers reveals a significant increase in the levels of lipids and fatty acids. This is metabolically dangerous and harmful to the child as it can cause various damages in the child. It is possible for fat tissues from obese mothers to shed fatty acids which will find their way into fetal blood through the umbilical cord; leading to energy overload for the embryo.
Prenatal exposures to obesity may stem cells present in umbilical cord to differentiate into various types of tissues that can turn into fat cells. Blood markers can be used to identify embryos at risk for obesity and its related conditions such as type II diabetes; in other to allow for prompt and suitable medical interventions such as vitamins, exercise regularly and you can minimize obesity or diabetes risk in the child.
Mothers and healthcare providers should therefore monitor carefully the nutrition and growth patterns of children at risk of obesity; especially in the first two years of life postpartum (after birth).