7 Facts About Obesity And Pregnancy You Must Know


The health problems that women suffer during pregnancy are also called the complications of pregnancy. They can concern the soon-to-be mother’s health or the baby’s or both. Some pregnant women experience health issues before pregnancy while others go through them before pregnancy that cause further complications. Since either is common, it is vital for women to be counselled by their doctors for the best health care before and during pregnancy so that the risk of complications may be reduced.

Pregnancy Complications–mild or severe?

Pregnancy complications and their symptoms can be mild or severe, or even life-threatening. At times, women find it tough to judge whether their symptoms are normal in their condition or not. The health problems they encounter during pregnancy could be physical or mental and can affect their and their baby’s health.

Some problems are mild and remain so, others creep on steadily, harming mother and baby. However, the good news is that mother and baby can be kept fit and healthy by managing their problems as they arise. Your prenatal care provider will have all the answers to your problems during pregnancy, so don’t fight shy of meeting her.

Obesity and pregnancy

A pregnant woman’s weight has always been of importance to doctors. But now, research points to the fact that a woman’s weight at the time her pregnancy is known to her is as important. This is because the factors that affect the baby’s health show up early in the pregnancy, so it’s important for women to know what they are so that they can take better care of themselves.

Here are 7 important ill-effects of obesity during pregnancy that you should know:

7 Important Facts About Obesity And Pregnancy You Must Know

1. Pre-eclampsia:

There are two medical complications that are very high risk to the mother to be–blood clots in the legs that reach up to the lungs, a condition called pre-eclampsia. These conditions make up almost 40% of all deaths to pregnant women during pregnancy, and usually among obese women. Pre-eclampsia occurs among 15%-24% of morbidly obese women (those with a Body Mass Index over 40.) Of course, the more obese the woman, the higher the risk.


2. Stillbirth

Among morbidly obese women, the chance of stillbirth triples. Obese pregnant women find it tougher to conceive and have a high chance of miscarrying too. Morbidly obese women are three times likelier than slim women to have a full-term stillbirth. It’s also more difficult to test babies of obese women or it could be linked to medical problems. Morbidly obese women also have other health problems ranging from high blood pressure to diabetes, asthma and sleep apnoea. One in 600 morbidly obese women have a full-term stillbirth.

3. Gestational diabetes

The incidence of glucose intolerance or gestational diabetes triples among morbidly obese women. Pregnant women with diabetes has a risk of 5%, though morbidly obese women have a higher incidence of diabetes at 15%. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes run the risk of having large babies and experience problems at delivery that could lead to injuries.

obesity and pregnancy

4. C-sections

Cesarean sections are very common among obese women, but equally dangerous. Half the number of obese pregnant women go in for Cesarean-sections.Obese women who undergo a Cesarean have increased risks from anesthesia because of respiratory problems. It’s difficult to give them an epidural, and they experience high blood loss and infection. They also have blood clots in their legs.

5. Premature birth

Though premature births may be common, it is one and a half times more common among obese women.These happen due to medical reasons.

6. Asthma

An obese mother gives birth to an asthmatic baby, according to several studies. It has been shown in these studies that a mother’s body mass index taken before the pregnancy is linked to asthma developing in the baby. In fact, babies of obese mothers are 1.5 times likelier to suffer from asthma.


7. Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)

This is a dangerous problem of blood clots. When a clot snaps and travels through the bloodstream to the vital organs like the heart, brain and lungs, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.


The above mentioned conditions aren’t all that links pregnancy with obesity. Children of obese pregnant women also run the risk of having birth defects. Obese mothers are 3.5 times likelier to suffer from a neural tube defect and have double the chances of suffering from congenital heart disease. These have a negative impact on the long-term health of the newborn.