Obesity in Pregnancy is Complicated to Mother & Baby
Complications for Mother
Expectant mothers who are obese are ten times more likely to suffer from minor complications such as headaches, heartburn and chest infections during pregnancy. Obesity during pregnancy runs a high risk of several serious health complications:
Preeclampsia: This is a condition which causes high blood pressure, fluid retention, and swelling during pregnancy. When serious, preeclampsia can restrict placental blood flow, endangering the baby.
Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It prevents your body from breaking down sugar and can put your baby at risk for gaining too much weight in utero.
Cesarean Section: Women who are obese during pregnancy have an increased risk of experiencing problems during delivery. Labour is more likely to be slow and prolonged, increasing the likelihood of cesarean section.
Postpartum Infection: Obesity during pregnancy also makes you more vulnerable to experiencing a difficult postpartum recovery. In particular, if you have had a cesarean section, you are at risk for developing serious postpartum infections.
Complications for Baby
The baby is also at risk for developing some dangerous health issues.
Macrosoma: Macrosoma is a condition in which your baby puts on too much weight during development. This can complicate labour and delivery, making it difficult for your baby to enter and exit the birth canal. Some large babies have their shoulders injured during birth. This is known as shoulder dystonia.
Neural Tube Defects: Babies born to obese mothers are also at increased risk of suffering dangerous neural tube defects during development. Neural tube defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly, are often associated with low levels of folic acid during the first trimester. These defects can frequently be detected early in pregnancy through the use of ultrasound imaging. However, women who are obese often produce poor ultrasounds. Because the ultrasound waves have trouble penetrating extra layers of fat, blurry images are produced. As a result, neural tube defects aren’t always detected in these babies.
Childhood Obesity: Studies show that babies who are born to obese mothers are more likely to suffer from obesity by the time they reach the age of four.
Besides these, other birth defects such as cardiovascular defects, hydrocephaly, cleft lip and palate are also associated with babies born to obese mothers.