Obesity – Its Serious Complications On Pregnancy

Obesity is the major contributing factor for rising complications in pregnancy and is a major nutritional disorder. For a scale, if the BMI of the pregnant mother, in the initial stages of pregnancy, is above 25 units, she is considered to be obese.

Obesity is one of the most common but a major nutritional disorder. Unfortunately, the scores of complications, leading to irrevocable damages to the body systems, which are brought upon by obesity are not realised until it is too late to correct.

It is difficult for obese women to conceive because fat tissues surround the uterus and ovaries, rendering fertilization difficult. The fat content creates harmonal imbalance causing difficult cycle and difficult conception.

There are various factors leading to weight gain / obesity during pregnancy.

a. Weight at the initial stages of pregnancy.

b. Less physical activity / exercise

c. Intake of excess calories.

d. Genetic factor.

e. Size of placenta

f. quantity of amniotic liquid.

g. Liquid retention.


a. High risk of misconception

b. Baby can be born with complications

c. May result in caesarian delivery.

d. Mother can develop diabetes

e. Leads to conditions including pre-eclampsia which is life-threatening symptom, affecting both the mother and child.

f. Urinary infections are very frequent.

g. High risk of complications rises.

h. Obese women could contract serious diseases of Arterial hypertension, altered cardiac function.

i. Long term complications viz. worsening of maternal obesity and development of obesity in the infant. (Which has a greater involvement in geneteic factors leading to child obesity)

j. Hypertension, due to obesity, is responsible for increased morbidity during pregnancy.

k. Mean diastolic pressure is higher in children of women who were obese during pregnancy.

l. Obesity during pregnancy is a strong predictor of sustained weight retention, after pregnancy also.

m. When diabetes complicates the course of pregnancy, childhood obesity and overweight are the resultant factors to face.

It is of paramount importance that strict Nutritional, caloric and vitaminic care should be taken during pregnancy. Non adherence will surely lead to serious health complications to both mother and the child.

Overweight is a risk factor for impairment of carbohydrate tolerance, both in non-pregnant and during pregnancy stages.

Reference Books / Publications:
1. Obesity is one of the common nutritional disorders- Divya Sood- Director-Naturopathy- on how obesity can affeect pregnancy. Indian Express- September-1, 2006
2. AM J Obstet Gynecol 1985: 152: 238-45 (Medicine)
3. Abrams B, Parker J. Overweight and pregnancy complications. Int. J.Obes 1988: 12: 293-303 (medicine)