Obesity Complications in Pregnant Women

By Ashley | March 12, 2010
Obesity During Pregnancy

Weight gain is often one of the most worrying factors for any woman who is going through the experience of expecting a child. Over the course of the trimesters, there are innumerable changes that take place within the mother’s body – both, emotionally, as well as physically. Added to her own weight, the mother is also carrying the weight of the child that is developing within her womb. The average weight gain, that an expectant mother experiences, is close to eleven pounds. It is therefore not surprising that overweight women also have a tendency to gain weight during a pregnancy.

In the case of obese women, the complications that arise not only affect the expectant mother but also have adverse effects on the developing baby. In comparison to women with normal weight, an expectant mother who is obese is at a higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure and increased blood sugar levels that can result in cardiovascular disorders. These women are also at an increased risk of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by a combination of hypertension and traces of protein in the urine. Deep vein thrombosis and water retention are other problems that obese mothers-to-be suffer from. Being obese, these women have less chances of experiencing normal deliveries resulting in the need for C-sections. The various complications also increase the chances of preterm deliveries, high birth weight and miscarriages. High birth weight, in turn increases the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disorders in the baby, when he reaches adulthood. During the course of pregnancy, because of the complications that may arise due to their excess weight, these women have to go in for frequent medical tests and ultrasounds to ensure the health of their baby. Hence, we see that obesity also increases financial load on the couple.

During this time, the body needs foods that will provide complete nutrition for both, mother and child. Since the body does not burn as many calories as it would if the expectant mother were to continue a normal schedule, there is the tendency to put on weight. Regular walks aid the digestion of food and help to keep a check on excessive weight gain. Fruits and vegetables, rich in essential nutrients and fiber help in preventing extra weight gain. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is known to increase metabolism and flush out excessive fluids that turn toxic, thereby burning excess fat and preventing water retention. Regular weight checks will help you take necessary measures to keep weight gain under control.

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