New study shows direct link between obesity during pregnancy and birth defects

I have  highlighted a major study which has found that women who are obese when they conceive are more likely to give birth to a baby with serious birth defects.

The study is the first to show that babies of women who are overweight, but not clinically obese, are also slightly more likely to have health problems in the first year of life.

The research, which was conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, revealed an increasing scale of risk, in tandem with obesity levels, for health problems including congenital heart defects, anomalies of the digestive system and malformations of genital organs or limbs.

Moreover, the report quoted numerous Doctors who say that an increasing number of babies globally, are facing serious health issues, such as brain damage, strokes and heart disease primarily due to the obesity levels of their mothers’ during pregnancy.

Although I have previously highlighted the dangers of obesity during pregnancy before – this study, which used data from more than 1.2 million live births in Sweden between 2001 and 2014, provides some of the most convincing evidence yet of the link between obesity in pregnancy and birth defects.

The report found that a total of 43,550 babies (3.5% of all births) had major congenital malformations. Compared with mothers in the healthy weight range (3.4% risk of defects). However, this figure rose to as high as (4.7% )for higher categories of obesity.

As such, it is imperative we re-double our efforts to encourage women of a reproductive age to adopt a healthy lifestyle. In particular, we need to raise awareness among those who are actively seeking to get pregnant to strive for a normal body weight before conception

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