Obese pregnant women given drug to have thinner babies

LONDON - Researchers will give hundreds of pregnant women a drug in hopes of having thinner babies.

The drug Metformin treats type 2 diabetes and it's already known to be safe for pregnant women to take. It helps prevent weight gain and researchers say it can lead to some weight loss.

Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals, in the suburbs outside of London, are conducting this clinical trial. The researchers there hope that giving the drug to obese mothers-to-be, starting at the second trimester, will result in smaller babies.

The researchers say babies of obese mothers are three times more likely to be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Therefore, they are expecting the thinner babies to be healthier.

Some doctors say the obese mothers should be encouraged to exercise and diet, rather than just take a medication, to have healthier babies.