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Risk of obesity when pregnant that can affect your baby

Infant mortality is estimated to occur in 24 infants per 10,000 infants in women of normal weight. Research shows that the risk of infant mortality is slightly increased in pregnant women who are overweight or slightly obese. Meanwhile, mothers with obesity levels 2 or 3 have a two-fold risk of infant death, compared to pregnancy in women of normal weight. Not only that, obesity in pregnancy also invites a number of other health risks.

Most of these infant deaths are caused by birth asphyxia or the condition of newborns who have difficulty breathing, have birth defects, have infections, or experience sudden death syndrome in infants. In obese 2 or 3 pregnant women, there is an increased risk of death due to birth defects and sudden death syndrome in infants.

Obesity during pregnancy

To find out whether someone is obese or not usually by looking at the Body Mass Index (BMI). In normal conditions, BMI should be 18.5-24.9. Meanwhile, if the BMI reaches 25-29.9 means that you have been overweight. For obesity conditions can be claimed if it has reached BMI above 30.

In pregnant women themselves, the most important thing to note is the BMI before pregnancy and the total weight gain during pregnancy. A reasonable weight gain during pregnancy can vary depending on the BMI before becoming pregnant.

For example, if you have a BMI 20 before getting pregnant, because it is still relatively normal, you can gain 11-15 pounds during pregnancy. Meanwhile, if you have a BMI of 27 before becoming pregnant, the allowable weight gain is 6-11 kilograms.

Simply put, the higher the BMI before pregnancy, the smaller weight gain allowed during pregnancy.

Dangers of obesity during pregnancy

If your weight gain exceeds the normal range, there will be various risks, not only to the mother but also to the baby. Risks in infants include:

Risk of miscarriage

A study shows that obese pregnant women have a twice the risk of miscarriage of babies compared to those with normal weight. Because, obesity increases the risk of high blood pressure and disruption of blood flow to the fetus.

Fetal death in uterus (stillbirth)

Obesity also increases the risk of the fetus dying in the womb. Usually this occurs at more than 28 weeks' gestation.

Babies with large birth weight (makrosomia)

Obese pregnant women are prone to developing gestational diabetes or sugar disease. This condition then results in high fetal weight gain up to more than 4000 grams (macrosomia).

Large babies will be difficult to remove during labor. The mother can experience shoulder injury and dystocia during labor, which is a condition where the baby's head is born but is not followed by the birth of the shoulder and limbs. As a result, the baby will experience an injury to the shoulder nerve that causes birth defects.

Risk of metabolic disease in infants

Babies born to obese mothers have a higher fat composition than babies born to mothers with normal BMI. This will increase the risk of being obese, sugar, and even heart disease as adults.

Tips for getting a healthy pregnancy

Obesity in pregnancy does look scary. However, weight loss or not increase during pregnancy is just as bad and as risky. The most important thing is to maintain your lifestyle and diet during pregnancy.

Some of the following things you can do for a healthier pregnancy;

  • Control regularly. Plan in your schedule to control pregnancy both to the midwife and to the obstetrician. Your weight and blood pressure will be checked and monitored continuously during pregnancy, so that even the smallest changes will be easily detected.
  • Eat nutritious food. The amount of food is important, but the most important is the composition of nutrients. Try to keep carbohydrates, proteins, unsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals in your daily menu. If the doctor provides pregnancy supplementation, remember to always consume it according to the recommendations to meet your nutritional needs.
  • Stay active. Pregnancy is not an excuse for lazing. One way to prevent obesity during pregnancy is to keep exercising. You can do light exercise such as walking, swimming, or pregnancy exercise.


Obesity during pregnancy can bring a lot of risk to the baby. However, this condition can be prevented if pregnant women routinely control the obstetrician and apply a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy.

Do not be afraid, if you are including obesity during pregnancy, consult your obstetrician about how to undergo a healthy pregnancy, including the ideal diet, and exercise that is needed. Meanwhile, if you are obese and plan to get pregnant, it's good to lose weight before starting a pregnant program. Research reveals that women who are overweight and obese tend to have a healthy pregnancy if they lose weight before becoming pregnant.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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