How Obesity Can Complicate Pregnancy And Childbirth

Obesity jeopardizes your health in many aspects, but as per several bariatric surgeons, maternal obesity is particularly risky. Maternal obesity is a condition when you are clinically obese while you are pregnant. It is very common to gain weight during pregnancy, as you nurture the growing baby in your tummy. But maternal obesity is a severe case in which the mother is severely overweight or obese before she becomes pregnant.

Obesity can complicate your pregnancy and childbirth in the following ways.

Gestational Diabetes

Even if you never have high blood sugar previously, obesity can lead to gestational diabetes, which, in turn, can bring several other complications for both you and your baby.

Sleep Apnea

Obesity adds excess weight around the neck and causes temporary blockage of air reaching the lungs during sleep. Normally it leads to fatigue, but during pregnancy, it can create severe complications.


You can be diagnosed with high blood pressure, which in turn uplifts the risks of so many other complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

Difficult Labor

If you are obese or even overweight, you are more likely to have prolonged and difficult labor. It strains you and also uplifts the chances of having the baby through c-section.

The complications of maternal obesity do not end with childbirth, it also puts many risks around your baby. These includes:

Preterm Birth

Your labor can begin much earlier than the estimated due date, which can bring many long terms and short term complications.


In this condition, your baby is born with a rather large head and it happens if you are having gestational diabetes. It also makes the delivery quite long and stressful.

Birth Defects

If you are obese during pregnancy, your baby is at more risks of congenital heart and neural defects.


You are at more risk of having a miscarriage if you are obese.


Maternal obesity also increases the possibility of having a stillborn baby.

The best way to prevent the risks of the same is by ensuring you have a healthy BMI before you are ready to conceive. You can consider bariatric surgery to make sure you lose a significant amount of extra weight and it also takes care of the hormonal imbalance in the body that might be a hindrance towards a natural conception. Undergoing weight loss surgery enhances the chances of having a baby.