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The Perils of Obesity During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time when a woman can happily indulge in all of her favorite treats, right? Sort of. While women should be neither ashamed nor alarmed by their increased appetites and pants sizes, they shouldn’t be interpreting pregnancy as an excuse to not worry about their physical health. Weight gain is a must during pregnancy, and roughly 25-30 lbs gained during pregnancy is relatively easy to lose after. But weight gained outside of the allotted 25-30 pounds becomes harder to lose and tends to stick around long after the child is born. The real concern, however, lies with the way weight affects fetal development.

Studies conducted by a team of ob gyn professionals and health researchers in the United Kingdom have produced evidence that links maternal obesity with increased chances that the infant will die before birth, during birth, or within a year of the birth. While the direct connections between obesity and infant mortality are still being figured out, the researchers and professionals working on the study are certain that high blood pressure had a high percentage share of the blame.

Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition wherein high blood pressure raised in pregnancy in combination with high protein levels in the urine. Such a condition can leave a woman’s body struggling to keep both itself and the growing fetus healthy, which can result in future health issues. Also, if the pregnant body is stretched beyond its limits, the result is often a miscarriage.

A study suggests that 16 deaths should be expected for every 1,000 babies born to obese mothers. That’s double the number of infant deaths expected from the general population of pregnant women.

Solutions are difficult to formulate because medical experts strongly advise against diets during pregnancy.  Rather than dieting, pregnant women should remain as physically active as possible while still taking it easy. Water exercises are often suggested as the perfect exercise for pregnant women for just that reason.

A healthy diet and exercise plan prior to pregnancy may be the best option to avoid the problems commonly associated with a high-weight pregnancy. Public awareness of the dangers of being overweight when with child needs to grow. Women need to be aware that being pregnant doesn’t give them license to eat all the wrong foods and to eat in excess. It’ll take more than that knowledge to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but it’s certainly a good start. And those women who are obese or at risk for becoming obese during pregnancy should visit their OBGYN or primary physician prior to becoming pregnant to make sure they would not be putting their pregnancy at risk.

Comments (2)

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  1. I’ll make sure that I keep my wife’s eating habits in check when we she’s carrying our second child.

  2. Gabrielle says:

    Obese pregnant women can also form diabetes by gaining too much weight during the pregnancy, which can harm the child. Eating right and working with the doctor for a diet that balances nutrition can help obese women stay on track for normal weight gain during a pregnancy.

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