Maternal Obesity has always been a major risk factor during pregnancy. Compared to women with normal weight, obese women are at increased risk of pregnancy complications like Gestational Diabetes, Preeclampsia.
Does it mean that obese women cannot have a healthy pregnancy and delivery?
No, absolutely not. There is more to this situation than just so-called risk factors and there ways that can help you get past the risks too. The term ‘Obese’ itself is a general term, which is categorized again based on the severity. So what are the risk factors? Are they the same for each category? Let us find out:
What is Obesity?
Obesity is a condition in which body accumulates excess amounts of body fat and thus, the weight. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the metric that is used to determine if the person is obese. It is a mathematical calculation that is based on height and weight. Here’s how the scale reads:
The health condition of an individual is determined based on the above scale:
18.5 – 24.9 is the recommended range for healthy adults anything above this score is the territory with varying amounts of risk. The score that falls between 25 and 29.9 translates to the excess weight that comes from their fat, bone, muscle, and water in the body. Anything above 30 falls under the obese category which represents an excess amount of fat that has accumulated due to unhealthy food habits and lifestyle choices.
While anything above 30 falls under the obese category, the risks that each of the three categories differs based on the scores as follows:
Lowest risk: BMI 30-34.9
Medium risk: BMI 35-39.9
Highest risk: BMI >40
Risks of Obesity for Pregnant Woman:
The risk of obesity drastically increases with BMI, post 30 and can result in following complications like High Blood Pressure, Gestational Diabetes, Miscarriage or stillbirth, Blood clot problems, Urinary tract infections, breastfeed problems.
Maternal Obesity also increases the risk of other health problems for the baby too. It is found that the risk of stillbirth is doubled for the woman with BMI greater than 35. Babies of an obese mom are also at an increased risk of neural tube defects, heart defects and problems with the optimal development of the limbs.
Ways to improve the chances of healthy pregnancy for obese women:
Eating healthy foods following an active lifestyle and a regular prenatal care regimen are essential components of a healthy pregnancy for normal women. But women with weight issues are first advised to get their medical check-up done before treading on to pregnancy. Entering pregnancy with normal BMI and gaining weight within a recommended range is an ideal way to ensure and healthy pregnancy and delivery. But these recommended levels change depend upon your current weight. So your health care provider can help you with an optimal weight range and tips to achieve it, based on your current health condition.
If you are still unsure about the necessary plan and would like to seek help, Dr.Neelima Mantri,Best Laparoscopic and Gynecologist in Mumbai, India.
You can contact her here: