Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. An example would be a 5-foot-6 woman weighing 186 pounds.
While obesity rates continue to climb in the United States, reproductive experts weigh-in on the effects of obesity on fertility.
Here is a summary of their report:
Obese women have higher rates of cesarean sections, large babies and gestational diabetes;
Obesity is linked to depression in pregnant women and higher rates of postpartum depression in new moms;
Obese women experience longer labors and may require more medical interventions to induce or augment labor;
Due to an increased failure to progress, many obese women require c-sections. In a Utah study, 36% of obese women had to have c-sections, compared to 18.5% of normal-weight women;
Not only does maternal death rate increase with obesity, but rates of infant mortality were two times higher for obese women;
Physicians recommend that women aim to lose weight before trying to conceive. Maintaining a healthy weight will increase fertility and support a healthy pregnancy.