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Understanding Obesity - Pregnancy

Pregnancy and weight are something that is regularly talked about, though most of the debates tend to centre around gaining weight while you are pregnant. Being obese during pregnancy can put you at the risk of pregnancy problems. There has been a lot of research on the link between obesity and pregnancy, and let us see through the fundamentals of understanding obesity & pregnancy. How Obesity is defined

Obesity is a growing issue with more and more women starting their pregnancy already in the overweight or obese groups. Overweight is clear as having a body mass index (BMI) between 25 to 29.9, while Obesity is set at a BMI above 30. These are the same characterizations that are used correspondingly to pregnancy. Since being too thin or overweight can affect your fertility and baby's health. The BMI is usually calculated on the pre-pregnancy for a healthy pregnancy guidance. How Obesity affects Pregnancy

The actual first concern that someone may suffer from when trying to get pregnant while being overweight or obese is the trouble of conceiving. There are women who will suffer from issues with poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which causes infertility or trouble getting pregnant. Also there are some women who basically have a lower fertility rate termed as sub fertility. This is furthermore to the possible risks of impaired fertility from the complications of obesity in general, for example high blood pressure and diabetes. When pregnant, there are also other problems from the increased weight including:

  • Increased risk of miscarriages
  • Possibility of certain birth defects like neural tube defects
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Infection of the amniotic sac (chorioamnionitis)
  • Pre-eclampsia (due to high blood pressure)

Each of the above issues has their own risks related to them. It can mean that you need to have a number of prenatal care visits that you require for medications or closer monitoring and this is one of the reasons why prenatal care is so important. In spite of the risks associated with obesity, you can have a healthy pregnancy with careful management of your weight, consideration to diet and exercise, regular prenatal care to screen for complications, and special attention for your labour and delivery. Remember that whether you lose weight or not, your chances of having a successful next pregnancy are greater. In addition, if you feel overweight, talk to the gynaecologist at GBR Fertility Centre with any concerns to seek pregnancy help. Dr. G Buvaneswari, MBBS, DGO, DNB (OG), Dip. ALS (Germany), AMRCOG (UK), Medical Director - GBR Fertility Centre