How Does Obesity Affect Pregnancy

Obesity can be defined as anybody with over 30% body weight more than their ultimate body weight. Obesity is normally caused by many factors such as wrong diet, lack of exercise and other health related problems. There are several complications that are associated with obesity such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and diabetes. These complications are not an exception to the pregnant mothers and their babies.

How do pregnant mothers know that they are obese?

The doctors use standard scale called Body Mass Index (BMI) to work out weight associated risk. The equipment functions by bringing together the information of body weight and height, and juxtaposition them with the use of scale numbers running from 18 to 40. Depending with the weight and height of the pregnant mother, they are able to know if they are at risk of obesity. BMI is usually scale as follows:

Affect Pregnancy How Does Obesity Affect Pregnancy

  • 18.5 – 25; this the perfect range for good healthy women and men
  • 25 – 29.9; most people falling under this category are normally over weight but are not obese
  • 30 and over; anyone falling in these category is obese and should seek medical attention.
  • The frequency of obesity during pregnancy

The complications related to obesity are building up anxiety among the women who have attained the age of conceiving. For instances, in the US the number has increased from 13% in 1962 to around 30% in 2000. Recent studies have shown that approximately two-third of the pregnant mothers in US are likely to be obese. The complications affect the reproductive health of the mothers and their fertility as well as render their babies to serious health problems. Excess fat in the reserves alter the production levels of sex hormones, hence reducing the chances of conceiving.

Complications related to Obesity to mothers

After birth complications: obese mother would take longer periods to recover especially if they under went cesarean.

Gestational Diabetes: this is the kind of diabetes that occurs at pregnancy period. Diabetes results from the build up of sugar levels in your body because the metabolism process fails to break them down. The complication can render the baby to risks of becoming overweight in the uterus.

Pre-eclampsia: this cause accumulation of the fluids, swelling of the body parts and hypertension. At extreme conditions, it can lead to the blockage of blood flow into the placenta thus putting the baby at the risk.

Cesarean birth: obese mothers have more fat reserves in the hips which can result to the complication at the birth.

Problems to the Baby

Childhood Obesity: it has been proved that babies borne by obese women are at the risk of suffering from obesity at the age of four. The latest research shows that 29% of the babies borne by obese mothers suffered obesity at the age of four as opposed to 9% children born to normal weight mothers.

Neural Tube Defects: this disease can be discovered at early stages of pregnancy and treated, but obese mother have extra fat layers that prevent the penetration of the ultrasound penetrations hence producing unclear pictures. The disease normally arises due to reduced levels of folic acids at early stages of pregnancy.

Macrosoma: babies gain a lot of weight in the womb thus complicating delivery process.


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