The Connection Between Obesity & High-Risk Pregnancy

Obesity during pregnancy can pose increased risk for a mother and her baby. A body mass index greater than 30 classifies a person as obese. If you are obese, your healthcare provider will usually increase the supervision of your pregnancy. He or she may also recommend early testing for gestational diabetes, additional fetal ultrasounds, or and more frequent monitoring of blood pressure through increased visits late in pregnancy.

The board-certified maternal-fetal medicine subspecialists, sonographers, genetic counselors, advanced practitioners and OBGYN nurses at High Risk Pregnancy Center provide complete perinatology care for women with all types of pregnancy complications. We offer knowledge and expertise that’s second to none, for your best hopes of a safe pregnancy and a full-term, healthy baby.

How can obesity affect pregnancy?

Women who are overweight during pregnancy are more likely to have complications, like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia
  • Blood clotting problems (thromboembolic disease)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth and recurrent miscarriage
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • Sleep apnea
  • A difficult vaginal delivery

How can obesity during pregnancy affect a baby?

Obesity during pregnancy can cause a number of health problems for a baby, including:

  • Fetal macrosomia (when the baby is significantly larger than average; over 4 kilograms)
  • Excess infant body fat (which increases their risk of metabolic syndrome and childhood obesity)
  • Birth defects (not only are they twice as likely, obesity makes it more difficult to detect conditions with ultrasound and requires expert ultrasonographers and equipment) 

Tips for a healthier pregnancy

Before becoming pregnant, it’s important to get a preconception checkup to help you find ways to eat healthy and be physically active to help you lose weight. This will help improve your health and the health of your future baby. Here are a few more things you can do to help keep you and your baby healthy:

  • Get early and regular prenatal care
    Even if you are feeling well, prenatal care is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor will monitor your health as well as your baby’s. He or she can also monitor your baby’s growth to confirm he or she is growing appropriately.
  • Talk to your provider to understand how much weight gain is healthy during pregnancy
    If you are overweight, your doctor will recommend a weight gain of 15-25 pounds, if you are clinically obese (having a BMI of 30 or above), they will recommend gaining no more than 20 pounds. In some instances, weight gain below these levels is even recommended.
  • Eat healthy foods
    If you are overweight or obese, it is important to talk to your provider to help you plan your diet throughout your pregnancy.
  • Do something active every day
    Before beginning any exercise program, especially during pregnancy, it is important to talk to your doctor to find out what level of activity is safe for you.

For expert perinatology throughout Nevada, call the High Risk Pregnancy Center at 702-382-3200. We are always here for you and your baby and equipped to treat your unique pregnancy with unsurpassed skill and kindness.