We all know about the negative effects of obesity on one’s own health, but a new study suggests that obese pregnancies in women is not only bad for the mother, but also could increase the health risks in the unborn child.
Researchers with Seattle Children’s Hospital found that the chances of a newborn baby being born with congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract increased when the pregnant mother was classified as obese.
Being overweight, not obese, did not have a significant link to these abnormalities in children. But of the 3,221 cases studied, the children born with congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract were 1.3 times more likely to have an obese mother.
In many cases, these particular abnormalities account for 20% to 30% of prenatal abnormalities and play a causative role in 30 to 50 percent of cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in children, which compromises their health.
Of course, obesity is a modifiable risk factor in pregnant women. It is important for mothers to eat healthy and perform moderate exercise daily in order to avoid putting their child at risk for prenatal health conditions.