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What is the impact of obesity (female) during pregnancy and on babies?

The Danger of Obesity

The health risks for people who are even slightly overweight includes a number of severe illnesses.They are such as:
– Arthritis
– Heart disease
– Diabetes
• Women who are overweight or obese and pregnant put themselves and their babies at risk for a dangerous pregnancy.
• They are also prone to health-related complications.
• Obesity has officially become a marker for high-risk pregnancies.
• A person who is more than 30% over their ideal body weight is considered to be obese.
• Obesity can be the result of any number of factors, from poor diet and inactivity to complications from health issues.
• A scale that has been adopted by healthcare professionals, called the Body Mass Index (BMI) can calculate weight-related risks for individuals.
• The BMI compares information about height and body weight using a number ranging from 18 to 40.
• A person can determine whether they are at risk for obesity with this information.

The Body Mass Index is usually broken down as follows:
18.5 to 25: These numbers represent the ideal weight range for most normal, healthy people.
25 to 29.9: A BMI in this range may mean a person is overweight for their body height.
30 and over: A measurement in this range may indicate obesity.

Complications for Mother

• Obesity affects a woman and her baby by putting them at risk for health complications.
• It also can have a negative effect upon fertility and reproductive health.
• The reason obesity affects fertility is that fat stores change the levels of sex hormones in the body.
• This reduces the ability to conceive.
• Being obese and pregnant puts a woman at risk for preeclampsia.
• This is a condition that occurs after 20 weeks gestation.
• Blood pressure escalates and protein appears in the urine.

Other serious symptoms accompany this condition:
– Swelling
– Fluid retention
– Headaches
– Nausea
• It has the potential to restrict blood flow to the baby.
• Overweight and obesity during pregnancy also predispose a woman to gestational diabetes.
• As with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes occurs later in pregnancy.
• This is due to the inability of the body to break down sugars.
• The result is dangerous for the baby in many ways, including overly large babies.
• Often a woman who is obese requires delivery via caesarean section.
• Problems during labor arise and labor is often very slow and prolonged.
• Postpartum recovery can be prolonged and difficult.
• This is especially true if there has been a c-section.
• There is increased danger for post-op infections in overweight women.

Complications for Baby

• The baby is at risk for macrosoma.
• This is a condition in which the baby puts on too much weight during development.
• The baby may have a very difficult time entering and exiting the birth canal as a result of his/her size.
• Some large babies endure shoulder injuries during birth, known as shoulder dystonia.
• Neural tube defects are another potential danger for babies of obese women.
• Spina bifida and anencephaly are two common neural tube defects.
• These occur as a result of low folic acid intake during the first trimester.
• These defects can be found via ultrasound.
• Women who are obese produce poor ultrasounds.
• Blurry images are caused by the layers of fat.
• A woman who is overweight or obese and desires to have children can help reduce the risks associated with obesity during pregnancy.
• This can be done by losing weight before conception and monitoring weight gain during their pregnancy.
• Exercise is important throughout the pregnancy since it helps to reduce the risk of potential problems.

Obesity: A ticking time bomb for reproductive health The Obesity Reality The Fertility Diet

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