Author(s): Begum KS
The increasing prevalence of maternal obesity worldwide provides a major challenge to obstetric practice from preconception to postpartum. Maternal obesity can result in unfavorable outcomes for the woman and fetus. Maternal risks during pregnancy include gestational diabetes and chronic hypertension leading to preeclampsia. The fetus is at risk for stillbirth and congenital anomalies. Intrapartum care, normal and operative deliveries, anesthetic and operative interventions in the obese demand extra care. Obesity in pregnancy can also affect health later in life for both mother and child. For women, these risks include heart disease and hypertension. Children have a risk of future obesity and heart disease. Women and their offspring are at increased risk for diabetes. Obstetrician-gynecologists should be well informed to prevent and treat this epidemic. Interventions directed at weight loss and prevention of excessive weight gain during pregnancy must begin in the preconception period.