21 October 2016
The recent rise in the number of obese pregnant women could have negative health consequences for mothers and children alike, according to new research.
Conducted by Case Western Reserve University in collaboration with clinicians and scientists from around the world, the study reviewed existing research to gain a better understanding of the worldwide impact of obesity on pregnancy.
It was noted that obesity, a growing global trend, has been associated with reduced fertility, while pregnancies complicated by maternal obesity are linked to a wide range of adverse outcomes.
These include an increased risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature birth, instrumental and caesarean births, infections and postpartum haemorrhage, with the situation complicated by a lack of standard guidelines for the management of obesity in pregnancy.
As of 2008, there were almost three overweight or obese women of childbearing age for each underweight woman, and it is likely that this balance will have tipped further in the years since.
Dr Patrick Catalano at Case Western Reserve University said: "Until a comprehensive, potentially personalised life-course approach is instituted, efforts during pregnancy will by necessity be aimed at recognising and mitigating the adverse metabolic consequences of maternal obesity during pregnancy."
Posted by Philip Briggs
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