The course of pregnancy in women suffering from obesity has its peculiarities and risks for the baby. The future mothers who have failed to stabilize their weight before the conception and birth should take into consideration the information about possible complications which can affect the obese and pregnant.
Obesity is a disease
There is a widespread mistake that obesity doesn’t have an influence on the course of pregnancy, that it has an effect only on your appearance and is a purely cosmetic defect. Of course, that’s not true. Obesity is, first of all, a pathological condition in which your body accumulates excess fat because of metabolic disorders.
The predisposing factors of the disease are:
- Genetic predisposition to obesity, especially in the case when both parents have been suffering from this medical condition;
- Low physical activity;
- Overeating and unhealthy diet, including fast food, sweet and fatty products;
- Hormonal disorders.
When are you at risk?
In order to detect obesity, let’s apply the Body Mass Index (BMI) – the correlation between the height and weight of a person. The index between 18.5 and 25 is considered normal. The obesity classification divides this disease into three types:
- Class I – 11-29% overweight;
- Class II – 30-49% overweight;
- Class III – 50-95% overweight;
- Class IV – more than 96% overweight.
During the childbearing process, obesity can deteriorate. It’s related to the fact that the female body accumulates fat more easily at the time.
It’s also been proved that the body mass of the mother and the overall weight gain during pregnancy are crucial factors which determine the course of the gestation period, the outcome of the delivery, and the possible complications and weight of the newborn.
Class I obesity often has a negative influence on the intrauterine development of the fetus. Class II obesity is even riskier because complications during pregnancy occur in 75-80% of clinical cases. Class III and IV obesity lead to the complicated delivery in 100% of cases.
The indicator which points out the possible risk of neonatal pathologies and death is the newborn’s weight. Low body mass of the newborn predetermines the possible occurrence of diabetes, coronary heart disease, and arterial hypertension. That’s why monitoring pregnancy weight gain is considered so important, especially in women who have been suffering from metabolic problems from the start.
The excess fat in the female body leads to the problems with the formation of egg cells. It induces risks during pregnancy and birth and often results in various complications during the processes of conception and childbearing, such as:
Gestosis contributes to the disruptions in the functioning of all the organs and systems in the body. In the case of obesity, the person can face preeclampsia – its main symptoms are high blood pressure, visual impairment (sometimes even blindness), and high protein in the urine.
The problem lies in the increased speed of blood coagulation, which represents a high risk of thrombosis, fetal development dysfunction, and placental insufficiency.
It can occur as a result of hormonal swings. The placenta produces certain substances which block up insulin absorption. As a consequence, the concentration of glucose in the future mother’s blood increases.
The increase in blood pressure. Such a complication can induce the early breaking of waters during pregnancy and premature birth.
In the case of obesity, the delivery has its specifics. Women in labor often need a C-section. The excess weight complicates the postsurgical period: there are increased risks of infections and prolonged healing of wound surface.
Airway obstruction during sleep
For the record: women in labor who suffer from obesity more often need the stimulation of labor activity and anesthetic blockades.
Obese and pregnant women experience huge load on their heart which can’t get used to the increased blood flow. As a result, the hypertrophy of left atrium and myocardium can develop.
What should you do?
Trust your healthcare provider. The doctor who is monitoring your pregnancy will tell you how to improve the situation. You should just follow their recommendations to the letter: keep to a healthy pregnancy diet, try to engage more in physical activities, and take the prescribed medications.
Take care of your health, and your baby will be beautiful and happy!