Health experts are urging pregnant women to eat healthy and exercise in order to combat obesity and reduce the pregnancy risks associated with it.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), more than 50 percent of the nation’s childbearing-age women are obese, overweight or have chronic diseases when becoming pregnant. Obese women are more than twice as likely to have a premature birth as women of a normal weight.
Being overweight also heightens the chances of miscarriages, cesarean deliveries and birth injuries as the mother can develop gestational diabetes and other health problems during pregnancy. Studies indicate that gestational diabetes increases the risk of babies suffering shoulder dystocia and birth trauma.
Experts claim obese women can reduce the risk of complications by losing even just a small amount of weight before pregnancy. ACOG has released guidelines for recommended physical activities during pregnancy in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The list in the December issue of the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal includes running or jogging, modified yoga and Pilates and strength training.
“Maintaining a healthy weight is important to overall health at all times, but it becomes a vital sign when a woman is pregnant or planning a pregnancy,” co-author Dr. Patrick Catalano said in a statement.
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