Obesity and pregnancy complications on the rise

Pregnancy is a fulfilling and wonderful time of life which every to-be-mother deserves the right to enjoy to the fullest. Good nutrition, healthy lifestyle and loving and sufficient prenatal care - a combination of all these factors are enough to pave the way for a healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood for all expecting women. But what must never find a place in pregnancy is obesity. Maternal obesity and pregnancy complications are directly linked and these complications can range from gestational diabetes, hypertension, cesarean delivery and preeclampsia to fetal death, birth defects and risks of type 2 diabetes occurring in the child later in his life. Considering the fact that obesity has reached scaring heights in US and every 1 out of 5 women is found to be obese at the onset of pregnancy, the situation has become really alarming and is in need of immediate rectification.

Increasing weight and pregnancy, more often than not, go hand in hand and given the mad rush for proper nutrition for mother and the baby during pregnancy, it is, in fact quite easy to put on pounds during this time, if one is not careful about the diet. An expecting mother must know her right nutritional requirements and avoid "eating for two" every time she eats or drinks anything. This is a myth which holds no truth in reality and can actually prove to be harmful if followed like that.

Rising obesity and pregnancy complications have become a major cause of worry for gynecologists and obstetricians and they are repeatedly stressing on the importance of nutritional counseling and healthier diets for expecting moms.

Increased risks

· Miscarriage
· Pre-eclampsia
· Neural birth defects
· Increased chances of cesarean delivery
· Hypertension
· Carpal Tunnel syndrome
· Heartburn
· Birth defects

To avoid obesity and pregnancy complications a to-be-mother must follow some recommendations -

· Gain weight sensibly. A skinny woman, during her term time can afford to gain 25-35 pounds of weight but an already overweight woman must not gain more than 15-25 pounds. And obese to-be-moms must take care not to surpass the 15 pounds mark, under any circumstances.

· Food choices now must incline towards the healthier versions and must include more of fresh fruits and veggies.

· Some form of mild exercise is recommended (like a daily walk) to keep the joints supple and control blood pressure.

· Regular check-ups and consultation with the doctor is a must.

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