Obesity During Pregnancy May Lead Directly to Fetal Overgrowth, NIH Study Suggests

Obesity During Pregnancy May Lead Directly to Fetal Overgrowth, NIH Study Suggests

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.

Key Points:

  • 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


Obesity during pregnancy — independent of its health consequences such as diabetes — may account for the higher risk of giving birth to an atypically large infant, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
Follow us

HealthStatus

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
Follow us

Latest posts by HealthStatus (see all)

Share

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *