Obese mothers are at a greater risk of delivering an atypically large infant apart from suffering from health consequences such as diabetes, according to a new study. This implies the criticality of reaching a healthy body weight before pregnancy.
It is advisable that physicians personally monitor the pregnancies of their obese pregnant patients, regardless of whether or not they suffer from obesity-related health conditions. Macrosomia (atypically large body size at birth) is commonly seen in children born to obese mothers, especially those who have gestational diabetes (high blood sugar during pregnancy). This condition poses certain dangers:
The study involved more than 2,800 pregnant women of which 443 were obese with no medical conditions such as diabetes and around 2,300 were non-obese women. From the 21st week up to the 38th week of pregnancy, the thigh bone and upper arm bone of the fetus of obese women were longer than the fetuses of non-obese women. These infants were also classified as large for gestational age (birth weight above 90th percentile) in comparison to infants born to non-obese women. Although the study could not pinpoint the ultimate reason for the large and heavy fetus growth in obese women, researchers feel that obese women are at a higher chance of having insulin resistance and hence, increased blood sugar levels could have triggered fetus overgrowth.
Already existing studies indicate that overgrowth seen in newborns puts these infants at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity at a later stage in life.
One point is clear from this study-obesity poses health hazards not only to the heavy-weighted woman but also to her fetus which is sad to know. If you are an overweight or an obese woman in the childbearing age, please get in touch with a nutritionist or dietitian at www.firsteatright.com to immediately correct your weight and stay balanced on a healthy weight.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.