A major life event or highly personal goal is usually the catalyst needed for most people to make a serious commitment to weight loss. For women, the desire to have a low risk, healthy pregnancy may be the personal motivation needed to take action.
In addition to the potential complications that obesity can bring during and after pregnancy, it’s important to first note the adverse effect it can have on a woman’s ability to conceive. According to the Mayo Clinic, obesity tends to inhibit normal ovulation, therefore making it more difficult to conceive. The in vitro fertilization (IVF) process can also be impaired, as a higher BMI decreases the chance of successful IVF.
Increased Risks to Baby During Pregnancy:
- Birth defects: These include heart defects and neural tube defects.
- Impaired testing: Too much body fat can make it difficult to read ultrasound results, making it harder to detect issues with the baby’s anatomy.
- Macrosomia: This condition causes the baby to be larger than normal and can increase the risk of injury during birth as well as the odds of a cesarean delivery.
- Preterm delivery: Complications with mother’s obesity may necessitate early delivery. This increases risks of immediate health problems for the baby as well as developmental problems later in life.
- Still birth: The higher the mother’s BMI, the higher the incidence of still birth.
Increased Risks to Mother During Pregnancy:
- Gestational Hypertension: High blood pressure during the second half of the pregnancy can lead to serious complications.
- Preeclampsia: This serious illness for both mother and baby may cause kidney and liver failure, stroke, and in severe cases death.
- Gestational diabetes: High blood glucose levels during pregnancy increase the odds of having a large baby and therefore a cesarean delivery. The risk of the woman and child having diabetes in the future is also increased.
If you are planning to conceive children, the desire for a healthy, lower risk pregnancy can be a strong motivator for losing weight. Achieving a healthy weight can play a significant role in the physical and mental well-being of both you and your unborn child.
Please call to learn how the professionals at Medifast Weight Control Centers can support you in reaching your ideal weight so that you can avoid the associated risks of obesity during pregnancy. There are four Medifast centers in the Valley, and all are offering a complimentary consult and Body Composition Analysis. Call (602) 996-9669 today!