Most women who are overweight have a straightforward pregnancy and birth and deliver healthy babies. However being overweight does increase the risk of complications to both you and your baby. This information is about the extra care you will be offered during your pregnancy and how you can minimize the risks to you and your baby in this pregnancy, and in a future pregnancy. Your doctor will not judge you for being overweight and should give you all the support that you need.
What is BMI?
BMI is your body mass index which is a measure of your weight in relation to your height. A healthy BMI is above 18.5 and less than 25. A person is considered to be overweight if their BMI is between 25 and 29.9 or obese if they have a BMI of 30 or above. Almost 1 in 5 (20%) pregnant women have a BMI of 30 or above at the beginning of their pregnancy.
Your BMI is calculated at your first visit to the doctor.
What are the risks of a raised BMI during pregnancy?
Being overweight (BMI > 25) increases the risk of complications for pregnant women and their babies. With increasing BMI, the additional risks become gradually more likely, the risks being much higher for women with a BMI of 40 or above.
Risks for you associated with a raised BMI include:
Thrombosis is a blood clot in your legs (venous thrombosis) or in your lungs (pulmonary embolism). Pregnant women have a higher risk of developing blood clots compared with women who are not pregnant..
Diabetes which is first diagnosed in pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. If your BMI is 30 or above, you are three times more likely to develop gestational diabetes than women whose BMI is below 30.
High blood pressure and pre-eclampsia
A BMI of 30 or above increases your risk of developing high blood pressure. Pre-eclampsia is a condition in pregnancy which is associated with high blood pressure and protein in your urine. This can be a serious condition and needs urgent attention.
Risks for your baby
Higher incidence of abortion, premature delivery, associated BP & Diabetes complication. Large baby can pose difficulty during labour.
Difficult Caesarean section and wound healing.
Post delivery lactation difficulties due to large heavy breasts.
So ladies please watch your weight…and remain healthy!!