Obesity And Pregnancy: Surprising Facts

There are a surprising number of health risks that can accompany obesity and pregnancy. If you’re pregnant, or thinking about getting pregnant, it’s important to see your physician and take control of your weight for both you and your unborn child. 

Obesity and Fertility

If you’re wanting to become pregnant and are currently one of the 34% of American women who falls into the obese category, it’s important to work on weight management to improve and maintain your fertility. Obesity can cause fertility problems like:

  • overall reduced fertility
  • reduced response to fertility treatments
  • reduced ovulation
  • a decreased pregnancy rate

Obesity and Pregnancy Complications

If you’re happily expecting, but concerned about how obesity might adversely affect your pregnancy, obesity can lead to:

  • gestational diabete, 
  • an increased need for c-sections
  • pregnancy hypertension
  • an increase in birth defects like spina bifida (a leading cause of childhood paralysis)

Obesity and Post Pregnancy Complications

Obesity can even influence the outcome of your delivery and post pregnancy recovery. Some of those complications can include:

  • possible difficulty with vaginal delivery requiring a c-section
  • increased recovery time for c-section
  • urinary tract infections
  • slow healing wounds

Doctors encourage an obesity weight loss treatment program BEFORE becoming pregnant that includes:

  • dietary changes to avoid high fat, salt and processed sugars
  • increasing physical activity in your lifestyle
  • reducing portion control to limit your daily caloric intake to a healthy level for specific height and body type

While obesity does increase risks during and after pregnancy, doctors do not recommend that pregnant woman attempt to diet to lose weight while pregnant. Instead, they recommend that you concentrate on eating nutritious, high energy, low fat, low salt, low sugar foods that will give both mom and baby all of the nutrition needed for a safe, healthy gestation and delivery.

In all cases good prenatal care is strongly encouraged to promote a healthy pregnancy and delivery.


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