How Obesity During Pregnancy Can Lead To Cerebral Palsy Among Kids

By alexa ancheta, Parent Herald March 10, 12:07 pm

Pregnant women, who are obese, reportedly have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with cerebral palsy. Researchers studied the cases of more than a million children with Swedish mothers for eight years and stressed the danger of gaining too much weight during pregnancy.

The researchers said two out of every 1,000 babies born are at risk for cerebral palsy. University of Michigan researcher Dr. Eduardo Villamor revealed the risk is doubled for the most obese women who delivered full-term babies.

Villamor said the study only suggest a link between the weight of the mother during pregnancy and the child's risk of getting cerebral palsy, according to CBC News. He added the study does not suggest that there could be a cause and effect between the two.

According to Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center executive director Dr. David Roye, obesity of the mother is not the only factor that could increase the risk of cerebral palsy. He said up to 40 percent of the condition could be a result of genetics.

"Although the effect of maternal obesity on cerebral palsy may seem small compared with other risk factors, the association is of public health relevance due to the large proportion of women who are overweight or obese worldwide," Villamor said.

Cerebral palsy is a term that refers to several neurological conditions that arise from brain problems as well as nervous system problems, as per NHS. This condition results from an infection during pregnancy, premature birth, bleeding in the brain of the baby and gene mutations.

Some symptoms of cerebral palsy are muscle weakness and stiffness, uncontrolled movements of the body and balance problems. Other symptoms associated with the condition are repeated seizures, drooling and learning difficulties.

Pregnant women should always maintain proper weight gain if they want to avoid obesity-related problems during pregnancy, Health24 noted. Obesity during pregnancy could have adverse effects not only on the health of the mother but also the child. Weight loss before pregnancy, however, could decrease some of the risks and lead to some health benefits even after pregnancy.

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