Overweight moms at greater risk for C-section
Being overweight or obese has been linked to a number health threats including cardiovascular disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and other problems. Now, recent research shows that women who have too many extra pounds going into pregnancy may also be increasing their chances for having a cesarean delivery.
The Norwegian study included more than 50,000 women— and excluded those with high blood pressure, preeclampsia, diabetes, gestational diabetes and placenta previa. The results were published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.
Researchers were careful to note that women who came into the pregnancy already considered obese or overweight were most at risk. Those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more were particularly vulnerable.
The study’s authors hope the news will raise awareness about the need to maintain a healthy weight, especially during child-bearing years.
“Our study examines pre-pregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain on the mothers’ risk of operative delivery,” said Dr. Nils-Halvdan Morken from the University of Bergen in Norway, in a news release. “With such alarming rates of obesity understanding its impact is an important health issue, particularly for women in child-bearing years.”
Obesity among women continues to be problem in the United States.
Thirty six 36 percent of women aged 25 and older were obese in 2005–2008; including 7.4 percent of women who were severely obese, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the heavier a woman is before she becomes pregnant, the greater her risk of problems during pregnancy. Additionally, obesity during pregnancy is linked with the need for more physician services, and longer hospital stays for delivery. Those women who lose weight before becoming pregnant, however, are more likely to have healthier pregnancies, the CDC says.
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