Obesity and stillbirths–the connection

flickr.com/ photos/mav16/ 4613775099

flickr.com/ photos/mav16/ 4613775099

Obesity is not benign.

I recently read a study performed over 8 years which showed that almost 20% of stillbirths (babies born dead) occurred in obese females.
The study has a database of nearly 3 million births and it was found that the risk of stillbirth increased along with body mass index and gestational age. This means… for women in the highest BMI—50 kg/m2—the incident of stillbirth jumped from 1.8/1,000 pregnancies at 39 weeks (one week before due date) to 3/1,000 at 40 weeks (the due date) and to more than 5/1,000 by 41 weeks (a week overdue).
As a caveat to this, women who are overweight (BMI of 25-30) are at no significantly increased risk of stillbirth compared to normal-weight women.
It is speculated that obesity increases the baseline inflammatory response and that this may lead to abnormal placental growth and the development of uteroplacental insufficiency (meaning that the fetus doesn’t receive enough blood flow).
So, if your doctor discusses your weight with you and encourages weight loss. . . listen. It may be in your (and your unborn/future baby’s) best interest.

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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