Overweight pregnancy can have long-term health consequences for children

Too much weight before and during pregnancy can have serious health consequences not only for the mother, but for her child’s health for many years, new research shows.

“While it’s pretty well-known a healthy weight is crucial to a healthy and long life, new research is showing that if a woman is overweight while pregnant, her baby is more likely to be overweight,” says Alan R. Fleischman, MD, March of Dimes medical director. Health risks continue into childhood, with a higher risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all of which can lead to heart disease and diabetes.

We realize that weight is a sensitive subject for many women and that some health care professionals are uncomfortable discussing it. But weight is a risk factor that can be changed, greatly improving outcomes. It’s very important to talk about this and get essential changes started. If a woman begins her pregnancy at a healthy weight, it can not only lower the risk of preterm birth and birth defects, but can give her baby a healthier start that can have life-long benefits. You can read a lot more about it at this link.

The March of Dimes recommends that women who are planning a pregnancy should get a preconception health check-up. During the visit, your health care provider can identify and treat health conditions that can pose a risk in pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or certain infections.  Your provider can offer information on weight as well as nutrition, smoking, drinking alcohol and occupational exposures that can pose pregnancy risks. If weight might be an issue for you, don’t put off talking to your doc about about it. It will be good for both you and your baby.

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