In a study published in the February 20 issue of the Medical Journal of Australia (2012; 196 , 184–88), researchers looked at pregnancy outcomes among obese and overweight women.
The scientists analyzed data from 75,432 women who gave birth at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane, Queensland, between January 1998 and December 2009. Approximately 32.7% of the women were classified as overweight or obese. The researchers noticed that women with higher body mass indexes (BMIs)—and their children—tended to have more health-related issues than those with “normal” BMIs.
“Increasing maternal BMI was associated with many adverse pregnancy outcomes, including hypertension in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, caesarean delivery, perinatal mortality (stillbirth and neonatal death), babies who were large for gestational age; and neonatal morbidities including hypoglycaemia, jaundice, respiratory distress and the need for neonatal intensive care,” the authors reported. “Maternal BMI serves as a marker of pregnancy risk that can aid in the care of individual women and help plan appropriate allocation of maternity health care resources.”
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