A recent British study showed that more than 5% of pregnant women are dangerously overweight or have a body mass index that is over 35. There can be serious consequences for the health of a woman as well as her unborn child if she is overweight.
The chances of having a still born child double when the mother is seriously overweight; also the mother herself is at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, and potentially fatal blood clots and death due to other reasons.
The likelihood of the mother needing a C section and the baby needing intensive care after birth also rise when maternal obesity exists.
A woman who measured 5 feet 5 inches in height and weighed 95 kg or more is termed as severely obese, having a BMI of 35. An earlier study had found that one third of women who died during pregnancy or shortly afterwards were seen to have a BMI of 30 or more.
Experts caution that women gain too much weight during pregnancy even when they are obese to begin with and the myth of “eating for two” also persists for a lot of women. Women are therefore urged to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle before they try and conceive.