The importance of managing obesity before becoming pregnant – The Union Leader

Leah Remini, Molly Sims and Milla Jovovich each gained 70-80 pounds while pregnant. Theyre not alone. Around 48% of women gain too much, putting themselves and their fetus at risk for complications during pregnancy and birth.

As unhealthy as that is, for the 25% of women in the U.S. who go into pregnancy already obese, the health challenges are even more daunting. Theyre at greater risk of gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (leading to post-birth diabetes and high blood pressure), and their children can develop health challenges that plague them throughout life.

According to researchers who wrote a viewpoint article in a recent issue of JAMA Network, in utero exposure to obesity is associated with altered gene expression and metabolic abnormalities in offspring. That is particularly worrying for two reason:

It increases the childs risk for early obesity and that increases the risk of premature diabetes, heart disease, depression, and learning and social obstacles.

Research shows altered gene expression in the fetus, because of increased inflammatory conditions in the obese mom, may be passed down to her childs future children, making serious health challenges an unfortunate family legacy.

We want you to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and for your child to thrive. So we suggest that any woman of childbearing age who is obese start a well-supported nutrition and activity regimen that offers expert guidance, group support and frequent monitoring. Also, consult with your doctor about having weight-loss surgery before conceiving. Its a win-win for mom and baby.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic.

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The importance of managing obesity before becoming pregnant - The Union Leader

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