One of the most common questions women of childbearing age ask is: does weight affect your pregnancy? 

The vast majority of pregnancies today conclude with the birth of healthy babies, which includes the pregnancies of women who’re obese. However, with that being said, having an excessively high BMI does increase the likelihood of complications and issues.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how obesity affects pregnancy and list the possible implications it can have on the health of the mother as well as the baby.

What Is Considered Obese?

When a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index) reaches or exceeds 30, they’re diagnosed as obese. Here’s a table that explains how your BMI reflects your weight status:

BMI Weight status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5-24.9 Normal
25.0-29.9 Overweight
30.0 and higher Obesity

Does Obesity Affect Your Ability To Get Pregnant?

Having an excessively high BMI can inhibit normal ovulation, thus affecting your fertility. The higher the BMI, the longer it can take to become pregnant – even for women who ovulate regularly. There’s also clinical evidence to suggest that women with a higher BMI face a higher risk of unsuccessful IVF (IN Vitro Fertilization).

How Does Obesity Affect Pregnancy?

Being obese while pregnant raises the likelihood of various pregnancy-related complications. These include:

  • The risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, and recurrent miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia – a complication in pregnancy that’s characterized by damage to organs, most commonly the kidneys and liver, and high blood pressure.
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • The need for a C-section birth
  • Increased likelihood of C-section complications

How Obesity Impacts The Baby’s Health?

Obesity during pregnancy also has a correlation with an enhanced risk of numerous health issues for the baby. These include:

  • Childhood obesity
  • Childhood asthma
  • Impaired growth
  • Fetal macrosomia – being much larger than the average baby at birth
  • Congenital disabilities

However, these outcomes can also be influenced by other factors.

What You Can Do To Promote a Healthy Pregnancy

There are various steps you can take to curb the impact of having an excessive BMI and ensure your good health and that of your baby’s. These include:

  • Get Regular Prenatal Care: This will allow your doctor to monitor the health of you and your baby and identify potential complications in the early stages.
  • Maintain a Healthy Diet: Work with a professional dietician or nutritionist to maintain a healthy diet to prevent excessive weight gain.
  • Stay Active: Discuss safe ways of staying active during pregnancy with your healthcare provider.

If you or someone you love is struggling with obesity, you’re at the right place. Rena’s gastric bypass hypnosis and weight loss programs focus on portion control and healthier living and have also been featured on Good Morning America and FOX. Get in touch with us to learn more.