A study at the National Institutes of Health shows that obese mothers, in addition to the threat of diabetes and other complications, may pose a risk of giving birth to abnormally large infants.
Dr. Cuilin Zhang, M.D., Ph.D. from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development was the lead author of the study. He stresses the importance of a healthy body weight before pregnancy and suggests that doctors should monitor pregnancies of these at-risk obese women especially closely.
Large body size at birth, known as macrosomia, increases the likelyhood that an infant will need to be delivered via cesarean section as well as increasing the mothers’ risk for postpartum bleeding.
The study used ultrasound scans from 2,800 pregnant women, 443 of whom were obese, but had no previous health conditions, and the rest non-obese women. Scans showed that in the 21st week of pregnancy, teh fetuses of the obese women were significantly larger than those of the women of healthy weights.
While the study could not determine exactly why this occurred, researchers believe that these obese patients were more likely to have a resistance to insulin, and higher blood sugar levels lead to the overgrowth of their fetuses.
Pregnant moms who are obese might be the reason they give birth to overly large babies #HealthStatus
- 1Macrosomia, or an abnormally large baby, has been found to be more common in obese mothers.
- 2The link was also found between these children and their mother’s gestational diabetes
- 3The researchers theorize that mothers with insulin resistance added to their child’s overgrowth