Pregnancy is a blessing for every woman but brings along with it certain complications if your body is not completely fit at the time of conception. One such condition is obesity. Excessive amounts of body fat lead to obesity. During pregnancy, it can cause major health complications for the mother and the unborn child. Obesity is calculated with the BMI (Body Mass Index) range. Calculation of BMI is based on the BMI. A BMI ranges from 30-40 qualifies a person as obese, while a BMI of 40 or higher known as extreme obesity.
Obesity in pregnancy leads to complications and a high-risk pregnancy. Some of the complications are listed below:
- Obesity during pregnancy causes a particular diabetes called Gestational Diabetes
- Increased chances of urinary tract infection as well as increased risk of postpartum infection regardless of method of delivery (natural or C-section) is also seen in the case of obesity. They also tend to exhibit urinary urgency and stress incontinence.
- Preeclampsia is the tendency to develop high blood pressure along with protein in the urine. The obese pregnant woman is prone to this occurring around 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Blood clots forming inside blood vessels are called thrombosis and obese pregnant woman are at high risk for this complication.
- The repeated stopping and starting of breathing during sleep is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea and is a serious sleep disorder. The chances of any developing or existing open increasing are both probabilities in case of obese pregnant women.
- The increased risk of stillbirth and miscarriage are common in obesity.
- Labor problems leading to labor induction as well as lack of response to pain medication like epidural blocks is a common occurrence in obesity.
- Obese women tend to have an overdue pregnancy that continues beyond the expected delivery date.
- The probability of both emergency and elective C-sections increases sharply in the case of obese mothers. The reasons for this are generally found to be stagnation of induced labor and fetal distress. Such women also tend to experience infections in wounds and delay in healing. The chance of a successful vaginal delivery following a C-section is negligible.
- Worsening maternal obesity is often seen after delivery.
Infants of Obese Mothers
The probability of infants of obese mothers having low Apgar scores, macrosomia, and neural tube defects is much higher than for mothers with normal weight. Other problems they might have to face include congenital abnormalities, fetal size, prenatal mortality, carbohydrate intolerance, hemodynamic adaptation and a tendency to become obese. Male children are also at risk of cryptorchidism. The children tend to be larger than their gestational age and also have thicker neonatal skin folds. Although there is no established correlation between maternal obesity and premature birth, these babies are at greater risk of being overweight at 12 months of age as compared to their peers. Genetics is also an important factor influencing obesity in children of obese mothers.
Hospital Care Cost for Obese Women
Increased pre and post natal care for obese mothers and their children lead to a sharp rise in hospital care and related expenses.
Though pregnant obese women tend to have long-term economic and social consequences, a bit of care and attention on your food intake and weight management can help you sail smoothly through pregnancy along with the help of preconception counseling, prenatal management, and long-term follow-up.