Effects of Obesity during Pregnancy

Effects of Obesity during Pregnancy


By Dr. Sushma Dikhit , Gynaecology

Obesity (when BMI is 30 or greater) during pregnancy is very harmful and affects not only the parent but also the child. It also harms the fertility and the outcome of IVF. Here are a few reasons why you should shed those extra kilos before getting pregnant.

1.Gestational Diabetes
An obese woman has a higher risk of getting gestational diabetes which causes the fetus to grow larger than normal, increasing chances of cesarean delivery and injuries during delivery.

Preeclampsia is a disorder related to high blood pressure that may take place during or after pregnancy. It also damages the liver, kidneys, lead to seizures or even in some cases, stroke.

Risk of getting urinary tract infections and postpartum infections are higher in obese women. Delivering vaginally or by c-section doesn’t lower the risk of getting infected.

4.Overdue Pregnancy and Labor Problems
Obesity might cause the pregnancy to continue past the due date. Moreover, it may interfere with medications such as epidural block which is mandatory in a cesarean delivery; thus leading to more blood loss, clotting and infections. Obesity also increases the risk of c-section complications.

5. Pregnancy Loss and Birth Defects
Higher the BMI, higher the risk of stillbirths and miscarriages. Obesity also increases the chances of birth defects and may induce long term health problems.

6.Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition associated with obesity in which you stop breathing for short periods while sleeping. This disorder increases the risk of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and other cardiac and pulmonary disorders.

7.Impaired Diagnostic Tests
Obesity makes it difficult to see the baby’s anatomy or listen to its heart beat during an ultrasound exam.

Macrosomia is the condition which leads to delivery problems because the baby is larger than normal. This is common in obese women and increases the chance of the child becoming obese as well.

A condition such as preeclampsia leads to premature birth i.e. the baby is born before the due date. This can lead to long term or short term chronic health problems.