Being obese during pregnancy raises the risk of complications for the pregnant woman and her baby. Following are the complications that can arise during pregnancy due to obesity:
- Miscarriage: The risk of miscarriage is quite high for women having BMI above 30.
- Gestational diabetes: Women with BMI 30 or above are thrice more susceptible to have gestational diabetes than women whose BMI is below 30.
- Blood clots: Pregnant women have a greater risk of blood clots as compared to women who are not pregnant. But this risk increases if the BMI is 30 or more.
- Preeclampsia: It is the condition of having high blood pressure during pregnancy or after pregnancy. It is a serious disease, which affects the complete body. It may even affect the kidneys and liver.
- Sleep apnea: In this condition, a person stops breathing for short periods during sleep. It raises the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, heart and lung diseases.
Obesity during pregnancy increases the risk of the following problems in babies:
- fetal macrosomia: In this condition fetus is considerably larger than average. This raises the risk of metabolic syndrome and childhood obesity.
- Having birth defects: Babies of obese pregnant women have a higher risk of having birth defects.
- Miscarriage: Obese women have a higher risk of miscarriage than women of normal weight.
- Preterm birth: Preterm birth can take place due to conditions linked with the obesity of a woman. It leads to an elevated risk of temporary and lasting health conditions.
- Stillbirth: The greater the BMI of a woman, the higher is the risk of stillbirth.
What Can Be Done to Promote a Healthy Pregnancy If You Are Obese?
- Plan a preconception appointment: Being obese, if you are planning to get pregnant then talk to your doctor. Your doctor will refer you to other healthcare providers like dietician who will be able to help you reach a healthy weight before getting pregnant.
- Eat a healthy diet: Take the help of your doctor and dietician to maintain a healthy diet and control body weight. Ask your doctor if you need special nutrition.
- Stay active: Talk to your doctor about the safe ways to stay physically active during pregnancy.
- Avoid unsafe substances: Do not smoke or drink alcohol during pregnancy. You can ask your doctor for help to quit these substances.
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