Research Reveals Health Risks Of Being Pregnant And Overweight

Women face several health issues during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and weight gain. Estimates show excessive weight among half of Australian women during pregnancy.

NSW Health Maternity and Newborn manager Jane Raymond said weight gain during childbearing years tend to be lasting and cumulative. Researchers also said there is a link between a child's health and the weight of the mother during pregnancy.

Overweight pregnant women are at risk of having a Cesarean birth and fetal macrosomia or giving birth to a baby that weighs four kilograms at most, according to ABC. The U.S. Institute of Medicine is recommending an 11.5-16 kilograms weight gain for pregnant women.

"We have relatively good evidence that if women gain within these recommendations, they will have the healthiest pregnancy for their weight," Raymond said.

The Institute of Medicine changed the pregnancy weight gain guidelines in 2009, as per American Pregnancy. Taken into consideration were the body mass index stipulated by the World Health Organization and the demographics of the childbearing woman at present. The guidelines gave women an idea of a healthy weight gain during pregnancy in order to avoid preeclampsia, cesarean and other pregnancy complications.

Right nutrition is the key to a healthy pregnancy and this includes a well-rounded diet. Healthy meals allow normal weight gain and provide the fetus with the crucial nourishment it requires.

Dalhousie University clinical investigator Helena Piccinini-Vallis said weight gain conversations are usually sensitive, Today's Parent noted. She said not all physicians know there are weight guidelines for pregnant women.

Doctors are not bullies and they do not ask pregnant women to go into marathons. They simply want their patients to have a healthy pregnancy.

Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) lead author Kristi Adamo said pregnant women can look forward to an app that will help them manage their weight and health during pregnancy. She said the app is undergoing tests in the United States and once approved, will help pregnant women count their calories along with their physical activities.

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