Medical Minute: Recent study shows Obese Pregnancy and Birth Defects Relation

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Pregnancy weight gain is important, but too much weight gain can be a danger for both you and your child. In this week's Medical Minute we discuss a recent study that can help keep both mom and baby safe.

Weight Gain is a health part of pregnancy.

"The recommend weight gain by the American College of of OB/GYN is 25 to 35 pounds," said Dr. David Amsbury, Trinity Health OB/GYN.

Nearly half of American women who become pregnant are overweight or obese.

While gaining weight during your pregnancy is normal and expected, recent research continues to suggest that being obese, or having a body mass index over 30, can be hazardous to both yourself and your child.

The British Medical Journal shows a sliding scale of health risks include congenital heart defects, malformations of genital organs or limbs, and higher risk for C-sections.

"Eat healthy! Eat fruits and vegetables, eat a well balanced diet, get good healthy fats, get carbs., get protein. If you're deficient in certain things then the development of a certain structure or system within that baby may be disrupted and you can have birth defects," said Dr. Amsbury.

Eating a full balanced meal is important to keeping you and your baby at a healthy weight.

"Pregnancy is definitely not an excuse to eat whatever you want, if you do the occasional ice cream but definitely still be careful cause whatever you're eating is what you'd be feeding your baby," said Marie Hallof, 38 weeks pregnant.

"We discourage someone from trying to diet or watch their weight in pregnancy. So recommendations on diet are not so much necessarily watch how much you eat, but watch what you eat" said Dr. Amsbury.

Based on the nearly a million women studied by BMJ expecting mothers are encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle and be at a normal body weight before conception.

You can find out more on this issue by visiting the Ob/Gyn department at Trinity Health and taking a look at the British Medical Journal's article on the issue.