Study: Obese Women Should Lose Weight If Pregnant

Severely obese women should lose weight during their pregnancy, instead of adding on pounds to avoid problems during birth, researchers found. The St. Louis University study found that by limiting the weight gain of pregnant women who are obese significantly decreases their chances of developing preeclampsia, high blood pressure brought on by pregnancy.

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We all know that there are many health risks with obesity. But, obesity during pregnancy can put you and your child at health risks. Find out the risks associated with obesity during pregnancy to you and your child.

Risks for pregnant women due to obesity:


Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs during pregnancy and affects both mother and child. It is a condition characterized by high blood pressure, fluid retention and swelling during pregnancy. Sudden weight gain, swelling and headaches are the symptoms. Proper prenatal care is important to diagnose and manage eclampsia.

Cesarean section:

If the pregnant woman is overweight, she has to go for cesarean section. Reason for cesarean section in obese women is longer labor. Another reason for obese women to go for C-section is they often have larger babies.

Being obese also has complications during and after C-section. Some of the complications include difficulty in placing epidural, blood clots or incisions that do not heal properly and problems in inserting a breathing tube.

Gestational diabetes:

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that starts during pregnancy. Due to obesity, pregnant women can get gestational diabetes. In gestational diabetes condition, your body cannot use the sugar in your blood, so the level of sugar in your blood becomes higher than normal. High blood sugar levels can be harmful to both mother and baby.

Risks for baby due to obese mother:

Neural tube defects:

Women who are obese during pregnancy are at risk of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects, called spina bifida. Spina bifida is an incomplete closure of the spinal column that often results in paralysis and anencephaly.

Childhood obesity:

Child is likely to develop obesity at very young age if the mother was overweight or obese during pregnancy.

Controlling weight before and during pregnancy:

If you have decided to become pregnant, you must lose weight for healthy labor and healthy baby. Consult a doctor and ask how to reduce obesity before becoming pregnant. Your doctor may suggest regular pregnancy exercise that is safe for you even if you are pregnant.

Exercise keeps your blood sugar normal and makes you feel better. Walking is an easy exercise when you are pregnant.

You should also follow a healthy pregnancy diet to lose weight. Following a healthy diet before pregnancy is recommended. You can also follow a healthy diet even if you are pregnant. Take lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.

By following healthy diet and exercise, you can lose weight to avoid complications during pregnancy.