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Health News: Obesity raises the risk of Baby Death

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 08, 2011
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Highlights of the Research Study on Obesity and Baby Death

A team of researchers from New Castle University claim that obese women are twice as like to lose their baby than those with normal weight.  A BMI of 23 is the ideal suggested for pregnant women.  The research suggested a reason for the increased risk of baby deaths in obese women was due to a higher number of cases of pre-eclampsia, a serious pregnancy  complication that is diagnosed by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.   So if you are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant - it is wise for you and the baby to maintain a healthy weight.

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OBESITY
Risk of baby death higher in obese women: Study

London, Apr 7 (PTI) Obese women are twice as likely to lose their baby in the womb or in their first year of life than those with normal weight, a new study has claimed.  Researchers at the Newcastle University who examined over 40,000 pregnancies at maternity units in the UK found that the risk of baby death was double among obese women.

 

Obesity Risk:  Women with BMI of more than 30 are at greater risk

They found that those with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 were 1.6 per cent more like to lose their baby compared to 0.9 per cent in women who have normal weight, or a  BMI between 18.5 and 24.5, the Daily Mail reported.

This means infant mortality rates for babies born to obese women were on average 16 in 1,000 babies, while it's nine per 1,000 for mothers of a healthy weight, said the researchers.

 

Avoid obesity before getting pregancy

Get to a healthy weight before getting pregnant

The findings suggested that it was important for women to achieve a healthy weight before getting pregnant to give their babies the best chance, they stressed but warned against dieting during pregnancy.

Dr Ruth Bell, who led the three year study, said: "The results we found were not totally unexpected as there have been similar studies done in the past that have arrived at the same conclusion.

"However I want to reassure mothers that it is uncommon for foetal and infant deaths -- most women deliver healthy babies despite what weight they are.

 

Pregnancy is not the time to go on a Diet

"When a woman is pregnant it is not the right time  to go on a diet as  it is most important that she eats healthily, ensuring her baby gets all the  essential nutrients it needs.

"What is important, however, is that women are helped and supported to achieve  a healthy weight before they become pregnant or after the baby is born, as this will give the baby the best start to life."

 

Ideal BMI for Pregnant women is 23

For the study, the researchers collected information during mothers' antenatal visits between 2003 and 2005 and the optimum weight for a mum-to-be was reported at being a BMI of 23.

 

Obesity and Pregnancy complications


The research suggested a reason for the increased risk of baby deaths in obese women was due to a higher number of cases of pre-eclampsia, a serious pregnancy  complication that is diagnosed by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

"When a woman is obese there is an increased risk of high blood pressure or diabetes developing during pregnancy. As a result it is important that the mother and baby are regularly monitored," Dr Bell added.  The researchers adjusted their results to take account of the mothers' age, ethnicity, smoking status, socio-economic status, and for the birth weight and gestational age of the babies.

Pregnancies where the baby had a congenital problem, of where the mother had a history of diabetes were excluded.

The new findings were published in the medical journal Human Reproduction

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