Ideal weight important for bearing a healthy baby

Published by admin on Sun, 2011-11-20 17:35

Dr. Mercola says:

It is important for women to take extra care of themselves physically and mentally before they plan to become pregnant. A healthy body that is capable of supporting a growing fetus is really the best gift you can give your new baby.

This, of course, includes not only eating plenty of healthy foods (including omega-3 fats) while avoiding dangerous ones (fish, coffee, and alcohol, for instance), but also maintaining your ideal weight.

If your body weight is too high, your body may naturally try to resist pregnancy until you have reached a healthier weight. Still, as obesity continues to rise in the United States, so too will the number of obese women who become pregnant.

I believe that the primary reason obesity is such a major health risk is that it is typically associated with elevated insulin and leptin levels. These elevated levels can devastate your physiology and are the last thing you want to expose a developing fetus to.

However, obesity is not only a risk during conception, it’s a risk during pregnancy -- and a pretty steep one at that. Obese women face the following potential complications during pregnancy:

·   Increased rates of hypertensive disease, cesarean section and infections

·   Increased risk of gestational diabetes

·   Higher rates of blood clots and respiratory complications

·   Independent risk factor for neural tube defects, fetal mortality and preterm delivery

·   Increased risk for having a child who may have a greater risk of subsequent childhood obesity and its associated morbidity

If you are already overweight when you become pregnant, you should also realize that you may not need to gain as much weight during your pregnancy as you think.

Generally, women of a healthy weight should gain about 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. But overweight women really only need to gain 15 to 25 pounds and obese women no more than 15 pounds.

Achieving Your Ideal Weight Before Pregnancy

No matter how you look at it, obesity will wreak havoc on your health, including making conception and pregnancy more difficult. It may also give your new baby a rough start to life. Compared with babies born to healthy-weight moms, children born to obese or overweight moms have:

·   Twice the risk of congenital heart defects and multiple birth defects.

·   Three times the chance of being born with omphalocele, a defect in which intestines or other abdominal organs protrude through the navel.

·   A greater risk of neural tube (spinal cord and/or brain) defects, including spina bifida.

·   A greater risk (15 times greater) of being obese later in life.

·   A greater risk of breast, blood and digestive tract cancers.

So it is really to your advantage, and your child’s, to lose weight if you need to before you become pregnant.



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