Monday June 24, 2019

Obese Women Can Boost Baby’s Health by Losing Weight During Pregnancy

Are you pregnant and very obese? If so, shedding those extra kilos may ensure good health for your baby, claims a new study challenging notions on weight during pregnancy. The study revealed that the optimal weight gain for women would give them a balanced risk of having a very small or very large baby.

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New mom with her baby.
New mom with her baby. Pixabay

Are you pregnant and very obese? If so, shedding those extra kilos may ensure good health for your baby, claims a new study challenging notions on weight during pregnancy.

The study revealed that the optimal weight gain for women would give them a balanced risk of having a very small or very large baby.

There is a strong link between the weight of the mother and the baby: very underweight mothers tend to have smaller babies — called small for gestational age (SGA) babies — and morbidly obese mothers tend to have more large for gestational age (LGA) babies.

These babies are at higher risk of conditions like heart attacks, hypertension, obesity and diabetes as adults than babies born at normal weight.

According to the study, published in the journal Heliyon, although the current recommendations are correct for women with a normal BMI, they are not correct for underweight or obese women.

Foetal immune rejection may be one of the causes for preterm labour -- a common pregnancy complication leading to birth occurring before the 37th week of pregnancy, researchers say.
Pregnant Woman, Pixabay

Thus, a woman with a body mass index (BMI) of 17 should gain about 22 kg instead of the recommended 12.5-18 kg.

An obese woman with a BMI of 32 should gain 3.6 kg instead of the recommended 5-9 kg. And a very obese woman with a BMI of 40 should actually lose 6 kg.

“We were surprised to find such a linear connection between BMI, weight gain and MFCS,” said lead author Pierre-Yves Robillard from Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sud Reunion in France.

“While our results show the recommendations are fine for women in the normal weight range, we have shown they are not ideal for very underweight and very overweight women.”

working mothers
Mother holding a baby. Pixabay

Robillard and the team carried out a 16.5-year observational study. They recorded the pre-pregnancy BMI, weight gain, and weight of the baby of 52,092 women who gave birth at full term.

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Current recommendations should be changed for underweight and very obese women, the researchers said.

“The results of our research provide a solution to the conundrum affecting the 135 million pregnancies per year on this planet,” Robillard said. (IANS)

Next Story

Delhi High Court Agrees to Hear Plea Seeking to Increase Prescribed Length of Pregnancy

Sahni also pleaded that unmarried women and widows are equally entitled to terminate a pregnancy under the MTP Act

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Delhi High Court. Source- Wikimedia

The Delhi High Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea seeking to increase the prescribed length of a pregnancy from a period of “20 weeks to 24 weeks”.

A division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi said it will hear the plea on Tuesday. The plea filed by social activist and lawyer Amit Sahni was mentioned before the bench on Monday.

In his plea, Sahni has sought direction to the government to replace or suitably extend the length of pregnancy from “20 weeks” by a further period of four to six weeks by bringing suitable amendments in Section 3(2)(b) of Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.

Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act prohibits abortion of a foetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The petitioner said that Section 3(2)(b) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act is against the right to privacy as it completely prohibits termination of pregnancy in case the fetus is suffering from severe abnormality even after a period of 20 weeks.

“There is substantial risk that if the child were born, it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped,” the plea said.

Where pregnancy is caused by rape or due to failure of a device used by a married woman or by her husband, the MTP Act is totally silent on it, the plea said adding that it makes termination of pregnancy as an offence punishable under Indian Penal Code if the same is not done in accordance with the MTP Act.

Technology, Privacy
A model wears the Owlet Band pregnancy monitor at the Owlet booth at CES International, Jan. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. The device can track fetal heart rate, kicks and contractions. VOA

The plea said that the fetal abnormalities are detected appropriately between 18 to 20 weeks and the period of one-two weeks is too less for the would-be parents to take the difficult call on whether to keep their baby or to abort it.

“…the lack of legal approval moves abortion to the underground (illegal manner) and they are done in unhygienic conditions by untrained persons, thus putting thousands of women at risk,” read the plea.

It also demanded empowering of women with sexual rights, legal protection against sex crimes and sex choices both in their own interest and for the sake of reducing the fertility rate as a whole.

It said that abortion beyond a period of 20 weeks is permitted only if continuing the pregnancy poses a substantial risk to the woman’s life. But the law does not consider the factum of serious abnormalities suffered by the child in womb and are detected after the 20th week.

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Sahni has cited Supreme Court judgments that a woman’s right to privacy, dignity and bodily integrity should be respected. He also mentioned many European countries including France, UK and Italy and even Nepal which allow abortion after 20 weeks if fetal abnormalities are discovered.

He requested the court to hold that the right to abort the pregnancy is a fundamental right of the woman’s body sovereignty and each woman has the sole right to make a decision about her body in the context of carrying on a pregnancy or to terminate the same, subject to checks as provided under the MTP Act or further checks, which may be provided.

Sahni also pleaded that unmarried women and widows are equally entitled to terminate a pregnancy under the MTP Act. (IANS)