While pregnancy can be a journey worth remembering with so much expectation from the mother-to-be and her acquaintances. There might be a substantial weight gain during pregnancy that, however, has to be optimal as advised by the maternity caregivers. The effects of obesity on the health of a newborn seem high as research states, but how?
Let’s dig deeper
Firstly, there is a strong link between a mothers weight and the unborn child, hence obesity has huge effects on the weight of the unborn child. In most instances, women who are obese are at a high risk of delivering infants with averagely large bodies than the normal body size. This is a condition called Macrosomia where the infant will have excess fats in the body. Such situations may cause injuries to the baby during normal delivery. It may also cause baby’s shoulders to remain stuck or caesarian operations taken on the mothers. Maternal obesity is very dangerous for an infant and it can lead to complications later in life.
Subsequently, maternal obesity can have adverse effects on the in utero environment that can inhibit fetal development in the womb. In such instances, the development of the fetus is inhibited and eventually may lead to stillbirth or loss of pregnancy.
Problems of obese mothers are also associated with medically indicated preterm births. This implies that the baby will be delivered early before maturity for medical reasons. What does this mean for the growth of the baby? Well, it means that the baby will be put in oxygen supply machines to fully developed. The implication on the health of the baby is high as in most cases they will have health problems.
In addition, chances of increased risks of neural tube defects in the newborn are high when the mothers are obese. These are defects in the brain and spinal cord of the unborn baby that can lead to death. When such birth defects are not detected early, they could affect the manner in which the body parts function and may also lead to abnormalities later in life.
Lastly, infants exposed to obesity are pre-disposed to develop obesity, high diastolic blood pressure, diabetes and other health complications that may cause the life of such infants difficult.
The risks of obesity on the health of newborns are always high. The good news is that this risks can be avoided through regular ultrasound scans and avoiding gaining weight by taking the right foods. The health of the unborn child will not only be protected but also upheld for better growth in future.