Obesity and Pregnancy
Obesity Raises Risk Of Complications in Pregnancy
Research has shown that obese mothers-to-be were nearly 10 times
more likely to suffer from chest infections, and more than twice
as likely to suffer from headaches and heartburn, compared with
pregnant women of a healthy weight. Researchers studied the records
of more than 650 pregnant women, of whom nearly half were overweight
or obese at the beginning of their pregnancy.
Obese pregnant women were three times more likely to have carpal
tunnel syndrome, which occurs when an increase in fluid causes swelling
in the wrist. The condition can lead to tingling, pain, numbness
and lack of coordination in the hands.
The study, published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
also found that obese women had a more than three-fold increased
risk of suffering from a condition known as symphysis-pubis dysfunction,
which affects the pelvic joints and may cause walking difficulties
Obesity during pregnancy also increases the risk of more serious
conditions such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and the need
for a caesarean section. More than one-third of pregnancy-related
deaths occur in mothers who are obese.
Bariatric Operations Reduce Odds of Gestational
Diabetes and Caesarean Section
A study has found that obese women who have bariatric surgical procedures
before pregnancy were three times less likely to develop gestational
diabetes (GDM) than women who have bariatric operations after delivery.
The study also found that delivery after bariatric procedures was
associated with reduced odds of cesarean section.
Gestational diabetes is increasing among reproductive-age women,
parallel to increasing rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Bariatric
surgical procedures are the only intervention shown to produce sustained
weight reduction in the vast majority of cases.
Researchers performed a retrospective study to compare rates of
GDM and related outcomes between a group of women who had bariatric
operations before pregnancy and a group who had bariatric operations
after delivery. Women who delivered after bariatric procedures had
lower incidences of GDM (8 percent vs. 27 percent, and caesarean
section (28 percent vs. 43 percent) than those who delivered before
Obese women who have bariatric surgery before getting pregnant
are at significantly lower risk for developing dangerous hypertensive
disorders during pregnancy
Hypertensive disorders in pregnancy -- which include gestational
hypertension, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are much more common in
Can we prevent the development of these disorders in pregnancy with
bariatric surgery? Research findings suggest the answer may be 'yes.'
A study published online in the British Medical Journal , identified
585 women who had bariatric surgery and delivered a baby. The sample
included 269 women who had babies some time before having weight-loss
surgery and 316 who had the surgery before getting pregnant. More
than 80 percent of the women chose gastric bypass surgery over other,
less common weight-loss operations. The researchers found an 80
percent reduction in the risk of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia among
women who had surgery before pregnancy, along with a 74 percent
reduction in the risk of gestational hypertension and a 61 percent
reduction in the risk of chronic hypertension in pregnancy, all
of which are known to cause pregnancy complications.
Having high blood pressure during pregnancy can seriously threaten
the lives of both the mother and the baby.