Pregnancy can be very difficult even for an average healthy woman. There are many risk factors that are added when being overweight and pregnant, making the process much more complex and stressful on the mother and the baby. Weight issues may carry very harmful effects not only for the mother but can impact the development of the fetus as well. This paper will discuss the risks that are related to the health of the mother, fetus, recovery and postpartum.
Individual health risks for just being overweight or obese include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and the potential development of Type II diabetes. When being overweight or obese during pregnancy the risks carried with it increase. The risks involved can include potential birth defects, fetal death (miscarriage or stillbirths), gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnncy), cesarean delivery and complications during the labor and delivery process, macrosomia (delivering a very large baby), high blood pressure in pregnancy, and preeclampsia which is a serious form of hypertension that may place both the mothers health and the baby's life at risk (Linne, 2004). The increased risk of said disorders are directly associated with unfavorable metabolic changes initiated by being overweight. Approximately70% of obese persons and 23% of normal weight individuals have two or more of these metabolic abnormalities that increase disease risk (Brown, 2011).
The risks involved with the infant because of being overweight or obese can include higher rates of stillbirth, large-for-gestational newborns, and an increase in cesarean section delivery. Some infants born to women who enter pregnancy obese are at high risk of becoming overweight during childhood and of developing type II diabetes later in life. Because of the fetal exposure to high levels of insulin while in the womb of the obese mother, there is a greater risk toward developing insulin resistance (Judith E. Brown). Some...
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Patricia Elliott, L. E. (2010). Addressing Obesity in Pregnancy: What Do Obstetric Providers Recommend. Journal of Women 's Health , 65-70.
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