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How Does Your Body Weight Affect Your Pregnancy?

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Unlike many believe, it’s not only obese people whose size might affect their pregnancy – ultra-skinny people also could be at risk. But whether you’re ultra-skinny or obese, here’s the quick look at how body weight influences your fertility and pregnancy.  

Body Weight And Conception

Medical professionals often calculate the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a person as to understand that person’s ideal body weight and this applies to the ideal weight for getting pregnant too.

As far as fertility goes, unless your obesity is caused by a hormonal disorder like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), your chances of conception should not be affected. Although some researchers have found a connection between obesity and lower IVF success rates, if you are trying to conceive normally, obesity should not affect your fertility levels, the precise explanation for this is not yet understood.

If you are too thin, i.e., have a very low BMI, you may be experiencing irregular periods or be producing low levels of estrogen. This sort of hormonal disruption could also damage your chances of conception. Some researchers also suggest that the body may be evolutionarily conditioned to experience high fertility levels during times of resource abundance during which human being has historically had higher body fat reserves.

But What About During Pregnancy?

1. Being Obese:

An obese woman is at a higher risk of gestational diabetes which, if contracted, leaves the fetus at higher lifetime risk of the disorder. In some cases, doctors have found a correlation between obesity mothers and inadequate brain development in their fetuses, and a 15% increase in the probably of congenital heart defects. 

And all that aside, overweight pregnancy symptoms also include an increased risk of high blood pressure and the need for a C-section delivery.

2. Being Underweight:

If you’re underweight you should keep in mind that you might be more susceptible to a premature delivery, while the fetus itself may also be underweight and has a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy or hearing and sight problems. In severe cases, an underweight woman can also suffer post-partum haemorrhage, which is a life-threatening situation. 

Some women with very low BMIs may also not have enough fat stores and experience irregular lactation. 

Most women gain weight naturally when pregnant, as the body demands extra resources to properly develop the fetus, especially during the second and third trimesters. But if you aren’t gaining any weight when pregnancy, consider discussing it with your Doctor. 
Similarly, if you have a BMI of higher than 34, talk to your doctor about the best way to lose weight before you get pregnant. For most women, medical professionals recommend achieving a body mass index of 19-28, before you get pregnant for the least weight-related risk.