The fact is that a woman who has a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25 has a higher opportunity of having complications like gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, which is a condition of elevated blood pressure during pregnancy affecting the mother and the baby. It is unsure why these conditions are more common in overweight women but it is something that doctors take very seriously.
It must be stressed again that babies from overweight mothers do not normally suffer any ill effects, but there are certain higher risks. Another of these is that it is known that babies from overweight mothers also run a higher risk of having more neural tube defects which have to do with the development of the baby's brain and spinal cord.
One supposed cause for this problem is that overweight women are known to have poorer levels of folate in their blood and folate is crucial in the early stages of pregnancy in order to avoid neural deficiencies.
In fact, folate is often administered to pregnant women in regulated doses. Folate is the naturally occurring form of folic acid or vitamin B9. Some people start taking folic acid as they start attempting to conceive simply to be on the safe side.
Each mother runs the risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but the chances in women of standard weight (BMI 19-24) run a 2% danger; overweight women, BMI 24-30, run a 6% risk and obese women, BMI 30+ run a 9% risk.
This does not mean that obese women cannot have a normal child after a normal pregnancy and a regular childbirth. It is just being given as an explanation for why a larger woman might need more tests and monitoring than a smaller one.
About 10% of all women develop gestational hypertension and this is something that can be treated quite routinely. Those with gestational hypertension will experience a rise in blood pressure in or around their 20th week to 140/90 or more. This can be a trigger for pre-eclampsia which involves the same high blood pressure but with protein in the urine.
This is a great deal more dangerous and requires medical assistance. Age appears to be more of a factor here than weight - under 35's are less prone than above 35 year olds.
Although the risks of some conditions are elevated for overweight women, they tend to suffer more than others at childbirth. Labour can be longer and the likelihood of a Caesarean section are considerably higher. However, if you are considerably overweight and you co-operate closely with your doctor, you should not experience any exceptional difficulties.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on a number of topics, but is now concerned with Bikini Cup D. If you want to know more, please visit our website at Swimwear for Big Busts.