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Washington Post Examines Risks Associated With Being Overweight, Obese During Pregnancy

February 22, 2005
Kaisernetwork.org's Daily Reproductive Health Report

The Washington Post on Tuesday examined the risks -- for both women and infants -- associated with being overweight or obese during pregnancy. Although the United States' "obesity epidemic" has gained a lot of attention in recent months, few major public health efforts have focused on the increasing number of overweight and obese pregnant women, the Post reports. Experts estimate that approximately half of the six million U.S. women who are pregnant at any given time are overweight or obese, according to the Post. Pregnant women who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of developing preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, giving birth prematurely, having a caesarean-section delivery and delivering infants who are stillborn or have birth defects. In addition, the offspring of women who were overweight or obese before becoming pregnant are more likely to be overweight or obese than offspring of normal-weight women (Redfearn [1], Washington Post, 2/22). The Post on Tuesday also examined how being overweight or obese can make it more difficult to conceive (Redfearn [2], Washington Post, 2/22). Both articles are available online.

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