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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Too Much Weight during Pregnancy: Unhealthy for Mom and Baby

Pregnancy may impose a challenge for many moms. Women, who gain excessive weight during trimesters, are at risk of various pregnancy complications such as developing gestational diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and have greater chance of undergoing Cesarean section, rather than normal vaginal delivery. Obese individuals are of great risk for blood clots and pre-eclampsia, in addition to complications accompanying a C-section.

New research suggests that women who gained too much weight during gestation went to gain an average of 44 lbs over the next 10-20 years. On the other hand, those women who gained moderately little weight were able to keep 20-pound of weight on average during the same time.

One study also suggests that the heavier a woman is, the fewer pounds she should gain during trimesters. According to the World Health Organizations, Lung and Blood Institute, and the National Heart, underweight individuals with body mass index (BMI) of 18.5, should gain on average 28 to 50 pounds if carrying a single fetus, whole healthy women having normal BMI should gain only 25-35 pounds; overweight women with BMI of 25-29.9 should gain 15-25 lbs; and obese women with BMI of 30 and above, should gain 11 to 20 pounds. For women carrying a twin should also gain weight depending on her health status. For instance if she belongs to a normal weight, she should gain 37-54 pounds; while overweight women should gain 31-50 lbs; and lastly, obese women should gain 25-45 pounds only.

Almost 50 percent of the pregnant women in Western countries today are either overweight or obese, in contrast to four decades ago, which was only 25%. If you begin out your pregnancy being overweight or even obese, there is a probability that you will keep the weight on after giving birth. In 2009, one study showed 3 out of 5 women who have gained excessive weight during their nine-month journey, retained almost 40 percent of the extra pounds a full year after they give birth.

Keep in mind that the fetus might also be affected. Pregnant women that have unhealthy weight have an increased rate of developing spina bifida, neural tube defects (NTDs), which is strongly associated with maternal obesity. A 2007 study showed that, babies born to obese women have greater chance to have the neural tube defect, even if taking folic acid supplements appropriately before conceiving. At that point, they concluded that the increase risk could be highly due to undiagnosed diabetes mellitus. It has also found that other obesity-related risk increases 20 percent of limb abnormalities, heart defects, abnormal urethral and anal opening for males, and diaphragmatic hernia, interfering normal lung development.

To ensure optimal pregnancy outcomes for both mother and the baby, it is recommended to be physically fit and healthy before becoming pregnant, monitor weight while keeping it in a normal range, taking more fruits and vegetables, exercise and take safe dietary supplements. It is best to seek some advice for necessary guidelines for a healthy pregnancy. Make every endeavor to follow the advice of your medical doctor which should include getting plenty of rest, eating healthy foods, avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking anything substance that is toxic to your body or your unborn baby.

Lior works for a company that created an innovative online task management app and also for a company that sells nursing wear clothes.


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