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How Does Being Overweight Affect The Baby And The Mother-to-be

By Shatavisha Chakravorty

By the time a woman hits her teenage, she stats experiencing things like menstruation. The monthly periodic cycle is a clear indication on the part of her body telling her that she is now ready to have a child.

For the next 30 or 40 years, she is in her fertile self and can conceive at any time if she indulges in an appropriate sexual intercourse. Indeed, most women choose to get pregnant at some point or the other of their lives.

overweight pregnancy symptoms

Among those who choose not to get pregnant, a small segment is that of women who do not want to get pregnant at all. The rest of it is about women who are unable to get pregnant, despite wanting to.

However, speaking from a medical point of view, there may be many factors that can make it difficult for a woman to conceive. Among them, the most popular cause is that of being overweight. While this condition does not make it impossible for a woman to have a child, the fact is that this does alter the chances of her conceiving.

That is why, many doctors recommend that women should try shedding the extra kilos before they plan to have a child. This article talks about all the details associated with pregnancy in case of women who are overweight or obese.

Take a look at these factors below.

  1. Being Overweight
  2. Trouble Conceiving
  3. Check Your Ovulation
  4. Risks In Pregnancy
  5. Dangers To The Baby
  6. Losing Weight Before Conceiving

· Being Overweight

Going by the definition, if the BMI of a person is above 25 kilograms per metre square, she or he is considered to be overweight. If a woman has her BMI in the range of 30 to 34.9 kilograms per metre square, she is said to be obese.

Any BMI greater than that is classified as morbid obesity. As is obvious from the nature of these figures, the higher the BMI, lesser will be your chances of getting pregnant. Even if you do get pregnant, you are likely to experience more complications in the course of your pregnancy.

Thus, it is a good idea to calculate your BMI before you try to conceive a child. To do this, measure your height in inches. Multiply that number by itself. Note down this value. Now, go ahead and measure your weight in kilograms. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight by the number that you have just noted down and multiply the overall result by 703.

· Trouble Conceiving

Overweight women have problems conceiving because a significant number of them suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. PCOS affects the production of eggs in the female reproductive system. Even for women who do not have this gynecological condition, the presence of an excess amount of fat cells may pose to be a problem. This is because the fat cells in the human body are known to metabolize the hormones. Thus, they are often seen to alter the entire metabolism of a normal ovulatory cycle.

· Check Your Ovulation

Speaking from the biological point of view, it is important for an individual to ovulate if they want to have a healthy child. Ovulation is the period when an egg is released by the body from the ovary and it makes its way through the fallopian tubes. Being overweight often impacts this process. Just because you are having your periods on time, it does not mean that the entire reproductive cycle is in order. Thus, if you are obese and finding it difficult to conceive, you should first check with your doctor to confirm that your ovulation cycle is in place. Obese women, particularly in the Indian context, are often seen to have an irregular ovulation.

· Risks In Pregnancy

Being overweight increases the risks that are associated with pregnancy. It has been seen that obese women are at a high risk of miscarriage and pre-term labor. The instances of stillborn children among overweight women is much higher as compared to women who have a healthy weight. As most of us are well aware, babies born pre-term often face issues like delayed and improper developments even in their later years.

Another condition that overweight women are highly prone to is that of macromia, wherein the children born from them are very large in size. This makes the process of childbirth and delivery more complicated for both the mother and the child.

Obesity increases the risk of pre-eclampsia during the later stages of pregnancy. This is especially truer if the child in question is your first baby. Conditions like high blood pressure, blood clots and gestational diabetes is more prevalent in heavier women.

Severe bleeding in labor and other complications in pregnancy are some things seen more often in pregnant women.

· Dangers To The Baby

Having established the risk that obesity poses to pregnancy, the next major thing that we must evaluate is the impact of the same on the baby. Statistics has shown that most children born from obese mothers tend to be overweight themselves. Such babies are often seen to have congenital anomalies as well. They tend to grow up often suffering from neural tube defects and facial clefts.

Such people are at a higher risk of heart disorders and cases of heart attacks are more prevalent among children born from obese mothers. Thus, it is important for you to lose weight not just for your sake but also for that of your unborn child.

· Losing Weight Before Conceiving

Understand that once you get pregnant, you cannot think just for yourself and you will have to worry about your unborn child as well. At that state, it will not be possible for you to go on a diet to lose weight. Hence, it is wise for you to get your BMI to a decent value before you conceive the child.

Data shows that obese women who have difficulty conceiving often find it easy to get pregnant once they lose 5 to 10 per cent of their body weight. Thus, if you are obese and are having difficulty conceiving, it will be wise for you to shed a few kilos before consulting a fertility expert. Chances are you will be able to conceive naturally and will not require any expert intervention.

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