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Maternal health: What are dangers of excessive weight gain during pregnancy?

One reason for this weight gain may be the fact that pregnant women rarely exercise, and they also eat more than required. @Shutterstock

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is not good and it can mean additional complications and health problems for both mother and baby.

Some amount of weight gain is normal during pregnancy. But if you put on too much weight, it is not good. A new study from Virginia Commonwealth University Institute in the US says that excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) is not only linked with the increased long-term maternal weight, but it also has cumulative effect over multiple pregnancies. The Journal of Women's Health published this study. According to researchers, each pregnancy with 'excessive GWG was associated with 64 per cent increase in the likelihood of obesity at midlife, regardless of the race, ethnicity, number of pregnancies and physical activity levels'. Another study in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology says that almost half of all women gain too much weight during pregnancy. This can lead to health issues for both mother and baby.

One reason for this weight gain may be the fact that pregnant women rarely exercise, and they also eat more than required. Let us take a look at some of the risks of excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

Pregnancy symptoms will increase

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy increases your risk of varicose veins, achy joints and heartburn. Leg cramps, hemorrhoids, backaches, physical exhaustion and more may trouble you frequently if you do not keep your weight under control.

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It increases your risk of diabetes

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may make gestational diabetes a reality. This can cause complications for both you and your baby. However, gestational diabetes, in itself, is not a life-threatening condition. But it does increase your risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.

You may experience labour complications

If you increase in size, so does your baby. So, giving birth to a bigger baby naturally is not easy. You may end up needing a caesarean section. Your baby also runs the risk of shoulder dystocia, where the shoulders are larger than the head, making natural birth painful or impossible.

Obesity comes with its own set of complications

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may make it difficult for you to get rid of the extra flab after delivery. It may put you at risk of obesity.

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