How does obesity affect pregnancy?
What is Obesity:
Obesity is a medical condition that occurs when a person carries excess weight or body fat that might affect their health. A doctor will usually suggest that a person has obesity if they have a high body mass index.
Body mass index (BMI) is a tool that doctors use to assess if a person is at an appropriate weight for their age, sex, and height. The measurement combines height and weight.
A BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates that a person is carrying excess weight. A BMI of 30 or over suggests that a person may have obesity.
Being obese during pregnancy puts you at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure, says Dr. Geeta Rustagi an Masters (MS) in Gynae. & Obstetrics at at Triveni Hospital. She says that obesity is a risk factor for C-Section as well.
Overweight & Fertility:
Estrogen is produced primarily in your ovaries. But more than 30 percent of the estrogen in your body is produced by your fat cells. If you’re at a healthy weight, then chances are you’re producing a healthy amount of estrogen. If you’re overweight, those additional fat cells will be producing more estrogen than necessary. If you have extra body fat, and extra estrogen, that must be a good thing for fertility, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Too much estrogen can actually prevent you from ovulating regularly, or even ovulating at all. Thirty to 40 percent of obese women have irregular menstrual cycles, decreasing their chances of getting pregnant. And women who are severely obese (with BMIs ranging from 35-40), may be 23 – 43 percent less likely to conceive, compared with women who have a BMI of 29 or below.
Besides decreasing the chances of natural conception, obesity also impairs the success rates for fertility treatments. Once pregnant, obese women that got pregnant either through natural conception or fertility treatment have an increased risk of miscarriage and birth defects in babies.
Obesity-related Health Risks for Mothers:
Women who are overweight or obese during pregnancy face several possible health risks, including high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and an increased chance of needing a Cesarean delivery.
Gestational diabetes is diabetes that begins during pregnancy. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at a higher lifetime risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Obesity is a risk to mom for her overall health. When we are obese we are at greater risk for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke to name a few. If we are obese and pregnant we are more at risk for complications to the baby, birth defects, growth problems etc. We are also more susceptible to gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced hypertension. Obesity can lead to serious complications in labor if the baby is unable to descend properly into the pelvis. This will increase the risk of cesarean section for mom. Surgery and anesthesia also pose additional risks for our morbidly obese pregnant women
For Obesity treatment and Routine checkups consultations with a gynaecologist is very much needed, Dr. Geeta Rustagi is a certified postmenopausal specialist at Triveni Multispecialty Hospital Gurgaon you may book prior appointment for better treatment and consultation.