How does a mother’s health affect the baby’s development? 6 December 2017 Obesity is a clear and present danger for the current generation of Australians but one thing that has experts worried is its potential impact on future generations. Researchers know that a mother’s health can affect the baby’s development in the womb and increase the likelihood of certain conditions and diseases. This is why Professor Carol Pollock and her team at the University of Sydney are using a Diabetes Australia Research Trust Grant to study the link between maternal obesity and the risk of kidney disease in children with a view to developing better screening and hopefully better treatment. “There is good evidence to suggest that something happens to some children in the womb that contributes to the development of chronic kidney disease,” Dr Pollock said. “Our study will be looking at animals to try and determine what it is that is passed from mother to child that increases both the risk of being overweight or obese and of developing kidney disease. “We want to understand if there is something that changes in the blood or the kidneys or perhaps the DNA that could lead to this increased risk. “Hopefully this could lead the way to discovering new approaches towards screening or testing so we can determine an individual’s risk earlier and provide more effective treatment. “It could also lead the way to developing new treatments for mothers that could help reduce or reverse the negative effects of obesity during pregnancy.” Find out how you can help Diabetes Australia support research here.