Being overweight isn’t good for pregnancy. We all “know” this, but a study in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology came out which looked at 23,000+ women in different countries.  They showed weight is an issue by itself.

We know obese and overweight women have a higher rate of pregnancy related gestational diabetes.  Gestational diabetes can lead to larger babies.  Larger babies are harder to deliver, causing more issues during delivery, including injury to the baby like shoulder dislocation.

So this study wanted to look at is it the weight? Or is it the gestational diabetes?

The women in the study all had oral glucose tolerance tests, height, and weight measurements.   Metzger and his colleagues looked at whether body mass index (BMI) influences pregnancy risks and fetal and newborn health unrelated to gestational diabetes.

Women with BMI of 42 or greater (severely obese) had triple the risk of an excessively large baby.  The risk of having a C section was doubled.  Preeclamisa risk was 14 times greater.

In an interview Metzger stated, “We’re pretty confident that treating gestational diabetes going forward is going to continue to be beneficial,” “We have much less evidence at this point as to how to neutralize or reduce the impact of overweight on pregnancy outcome.”  “What is becoming clear is that it’s probably a woman’s weight before she gets pregnant, rather than how much she gains during pregnancy, that’s important in determining risk.”

SOURCE: BJOG, online January 20, 2010.