Ask an OB-GYN, Series I, Blog 4- Can Being Overweight/Underweight Affect My Pregnancy?
Continuing from Blog 3, “Why is a Healthy Diet Important for a Healthy Pregnancy,” this post discusses the importance of healthy weight during pregnancy.
As I stated in my last blog, obesity in pregnancy is now one of our most concerning problems in obstetrics. In fact, maternal obesity is now considered one of the most commonly occurring risk factors seen in obstetric practice. Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to such an extent that health may be adversely affected. Maternal obesity increases your risk of complications which may be an issue for the baby. Women who are obese have higher rates of pregnancy related heart failure, hypertension, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, gestational diabetes, large for gestational age baby (macrosomia), increase labor dysfunction, increase c-section rates, and higher rates of hemorrhage after the baby delivers. A baby born to an obese mother also has an increased risk of birth defects, especially neural tube defects (spina bifida) and studies confirm that maternal obesity increases stillbirth rates. Losing weight prior to your pregnancy may help reduce some of these risks.
Being underweight in pregnancy is also an issue as it may be associated with vitamin/mineral deficiencies and an increase chance of delivering a small for gestational age baby (IUGR). Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a term used to describe a condition in which the fetus is smaller than expected for the number of weeks of pregnancy. Another term for IUGR is fetal growth restriction. Severe growth restrictions put the baby at risk for preterm delivery as well as other complications.
An evaluation of your diet and current body mass index (BMI) is a good way to see if you are overweight or underweight prior to conception of your pregnancy. –Dr. Douglas Lawson, Board-certified OB-GYN
Dr. Douglas Lawson is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist practicing at the My Linton Clinic Women’s Health Center. As an OB-GYN, he supports women’s health with innovative approaches to care. Specializing in the woman’s reproductive tract, pregnancy, and childbirth with over 20 years of experience, Dr. Lawson also believes that healthy people build strong communities. He believes that moving toward healthy is easier with knowledge. As a service to the community, he has volunteered to write a series of blogs, “Ask an OB-GYN”, where he answers common OB-GYN questions and shares his expertise in women’s health and wellness to our communities.
Dr. Lawson graduated from Indiana University’s School of Medicine, completed his residency at Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, and is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
To make a pre-pregnancy appointment with Dr. Lawson call