During pregnancy, you will experience a significant amount of weight gain. However, do not let the weight gain excessively, because it can cause complications during pregnancy.
Weight gain in each pregnant woman can vary, depending on the body mass index (BMI) she had before pregnancy. In order not to cause disturbances or complications in pregnancy, weight gain during pregnancy needs to be maintained according to BMI.
Health Risks Due to Being Overweight During Pregnancy
In women with a normal BMI, which is between 18.5-22.9, weight gain during pregnancy is recommended around 11-15 kg. Meanwhile, for women who are overweight with a BMI above 25, it is recommended that their weight during pregnancy only increase by 6-11 kg. This is because pregnant women who are overweight or obese are prone to health problems and pregnancy complications.
Here are some health risks that can occur due to being overweight during pregnancy:
1. Gestational diabetes
Being overweight or obese during pregnancy can increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes, which often progresses to type 2 diabetes later in life. In addition, gestational diabetes can also increase the chances of pregnant women having to give birth by caesarean section.
Pregnant women who are overweight or obese are more at risk of developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine (proteinuria) due to kidney leakage.
3. Premature birth
Premature or premature births are more at risk for mothers who are overweight during pregnancy. One of them is because of preeclampsia.
Miscarriage can occur spontaneously and the cause is unknown. However, pregnant women who are obese have a higher risk of miscarriage than pregnant women with normal weight.
5. Congenital abnormalities in babies
Babies born to obese mothers are more at risk for congenital abnormalities, such as defects in the spinal cord (spina bifida) and congenital heart disease. Not only that, the fetus is also more at risk of dying in the womb or stillbirth.
6. Macrosomia in infants
Obesity during pregnancy can also increase the risk of pregnant women giving birth to babies born with excess weight (macrosomia). Macrosomia will increase the risk of injury during delivery, for example, the baby gets stuck in the birth canal or the mother experiences bleeding.
Women who are overweight or obese are advised to lose weight before starting a pregnancy program, in order to avoid complications due to being overweight during pregnancy.
Basically, pregnant women with excess weight need more monitoring and care than pregnant women with normal weight. One of them is through prenatal examinations, including periodic ultrasound of pregnancy. That way, if there are signs of risk of pregnancy complications, the doctor can immediately provide treatment.
It is important for mothers to maintain weight before and during pregnancy, so as not to be overweight or obese. Consult a gynecologist for advice on how to have a healthy pregnancy, including recommended diet and physical activity.