June 3rd, 2010 in Shape

Q. What are some effects of obesity on pregnancy?

A. (Part 1) As the American obesity epidemic continues, women seeking pregnancy are not spared from the effects of increased body mass. In these patients, reduced fertility results from polycystic ovaries and ovulatory dysfunction. Once pregnant, both the mother and her developing baby can experience health problems. An obese mother is at greater risk for developing gestational diabetes, hypertension, pre-eclampsia (toxemia), macrosomia (increased infant weight) and an increased need for cesarean section. If a c-section is required, she has increased operative risks, too, including anesthetic complications, prolonged operating times, increased blood loss and deep venous blood clots.

-- Dr. David Barker, OB/GYN

Center for Excellence; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit an obesity-related question for a medical doctor, e-mail it to Clint Cooper at See this space each week for answers.