I attended an all-day conference yesterday and its focus was on obesity. As you know, obesity is an epidemic in our country. One of the speakers, a physician, said, “if you don’t think obesity is a problem, just got to the beach!” While this comment was meant to make the audience chuckle, this is a serious public health issue that many become seriously ill or die from. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a few people in my own family that struggle with their weight.
The problems associated with being overweight and obese are too numerous to list, but I do want to mention the impact that it has on preconception health. Preconception health has become a popular phrase and according to many experts, is the key to improving pregnancy outcomes. It’s believed that the health of the mom before pregnancy is just as important as her health during pregnancy.
For example, if a woman is obese and trying to become pregnant it may be difficult because it can affect ovulation and her menstrual cycle. During pregnancy, obesity can cause diabetes and high blood pressure. Being overweight or obese can also increase the chance of certain birth defects, delivering prematurely and the likelihood that the baby will be overweight as a child.
For all women preconception health is important and for the overweight woman even more so. No matter how much you weigh, please talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about having a baby.