Maternal Obesity and Birth Defects

We are not talking about obesity as a bad looking problem, we are talking about the problems it can cause to our health.

According to the BMJ medical journal, the mother’s obesity is dangerous for the fetus and may cause big birth defects including malfunctioning of the genitals of heart.

While for the mother, the risk for diabetes and high blood pressure is high.

The obesity and the fat can be determined with the help of the Body Mass Index – BMI. This represents measuring the body fat on the basis of the weight and height of the person. It is used to determine the over or underweight for every person.

According to the World Health Organization, the normal BMI is from 18.5 – 24.9, the overweight is from 25- 29.9, moderately obese starts from 30 – 34.9, the severely obese start from 35 – 39.0 and everything above is morbidly obese.

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This study was examining cases from over 1.2milion births from 2001 – 2004 in Sweden.

They were comparing the birth defects of the children with their mothers BMI at that time and the conclusion was that over 43.500 children had severe malfunctions especially for the heart.

The study showed that the risk for having those malfunction for the mothers that had normal to underweight was 3.4%, while for the overweight 3.5%, then it increases for the obese to 3.8%, 4.2 for the severely obese and at last 4.7% for the morbidly obese mothers. An interesting fact is that this risk is higher for boys in comparison to girls.

This research also took other risk factors into consideration like for example smoking cigarettes while pregnant, drinking, diabetes, lack of vitamins, anti-epileptic drugs etc.

This study suggests that every woman should first try to get to a normal weight before having the child in order to prevent the problems for their and for their children’s health.


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