Overweight is described as having a body mass index or a BMI of 25 or more.
Although a person needs a certain amount of body fat, an excessive amount could alter the normal functioning of the body’s systems and expose it to risks of health problems. During pregnancy, many changes occur in the body and being overweight increases the risk of complications. Gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, difficulties in prenatal exams, birth problems and birth defects are some of the problems associated with being overweight during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by an increase in blood glucose levels during pregnancy due to hormonal changes in the body. The ability to use insulin properly during pregnancy decreases, resulting in insulin resistance, which results in high blood sugar levels. This disease usually has mild symptoms and may not be fatal since glucose levels often return to normal after delivery.
Another problem is high blood pressure. Blood pressure generally increases during pregnancy but is well compensated in healthy pregnant women. However, overweight women have an increased risk of developing pregnancy-induced hypertension, a condition in which blood pressure is very high during pregnancy. This usually resolves after delivery. However, this can lead to preeclampsia, which is a serious condition of high blood pressure, protein in the urine and edema (inflamed parts of the body). This not only affects the mother but can also endanger the life of the baby. High blood pressure prevents the baby from getting enough blood and oxygen, which can lead to fetal death.
Obese pregnant women are difficult patients to examine.
Additional body fat limits the visualization of the fetus during the ultrasound. The doctor may have difficulty locating fetal heart sounds and may overlook possible problems such as location, abnormal fetal growth or reduction of amniotic fluid.
Excess weight during pregnancy also increases the risk of cesarean delivery in pregnant women due to the many problems associated with it. Cesarean section is a major surgery that involves the induction of anesthesia difficult to perform in obese women. The reaction to anesthesia itself could also threaten the mother’s life. As it could cause blood pressure to drop rapidly. The risks and complications of the caesarean section also include infection. Increased blood loss, abnormal bowel or bladder function, damage to adjacent organs and even death. Cesarean delivery also exposes newborns to the risk of premature delivery. That can be due to inaccurate calculi, shortness of breath, low Apgar scores. Fetal injuries or other problems that require prolonged intensive care.
Being overweight during pregnancy also poses a problem in newborns who may become obese in their childhood. Also have congenital abnormalities, such as spinal cord, brain, and heart malformations.
Due to all these problems of overweight during pregnancy. It is important that pregnant women undergo prenatal exams so that their doctors can control them properly, as well as their babies. Also, they receive the proper instructions on feeding. and proper exercise. They should also follow the recommendations of their doctors to make sure they have a healthy baby. They have to do that to help them stay in shape not only during pregnancy but also after delivery.