Can obesity during pregnancy affect a baby’s birth?

  • Home
  • Can obesity during pregnancy affect a baby’s birth?
November 29, 2023

Obesity during pregnancy is a growing concern for maternal health and childbirth. The impact of a woman’s obesity during pregnancy is not just limited to the physical challenges of carrying extra weight, they can have long-lasting effects on the health of both the mother and her baby. The heightened attention and care are needed throughout pregnancy and post-baby’s birth so that the risk of complications associated with maternal obesity can be mitigated to help both mother and baby have a safe and joyful experience. 

If you’re an expectant mother or have someone around who is pregnant, you might be curious about the impact of obesity on the baby and the birthing process. Let’s delve into the details. Excessive obesity during pregnancy can influence the way a baby is born and can potentially lead to various health issues for the baby, such as:

Problems with diagnostic tests

Obesity during pregnancy can sometimes make it difficult for doctors to check the state of the baby’s growth and movements during labor. It may also become difficult for the doctors to check the heart rate of the fetus.

Increased chances of caesarean birth 

Obesity during pregnancy may lead to macrosomia, a condition in which the fetus is larger than the normal size. This increase in the size of the fetus can increase the risk of injury during birth as it may create a situation where the fetus’s shoulder can get stuck after the head is delivered leading to an increased risk of caesarean delivery. 

Pre-term birth 

When a mother is obese during pregnancy, there are high chance that the baby is delivered early, generally before completing the 39 weeks of pregnancy. Pre-term babies are not fully developed which can create various short-term and long-term health problems for the baby among which obesity is very common. 

Birth defects 

Babies born to mothers who experience excessive obesity during pregnancy are prone to increased risks of birth defects like heart defects and neural tube defects. 


When an expectant mother has a higher Body Mass Index (BMI), the risk of stillbirth increases. Obesity can lead to problems with the placenta, such as reduced blood flow, which can result in insufficient oxygen and nutrients reaching the fetus. This along with other factors can increase the risk of stillbirth.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and the impact of obesity can vary from person to person. By addressing these concerns and seeking appropriate medical guidance, expectant mothers can increase their chances of a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery for both themselves and their babies. To find out more you can also contact Dr. Shweta Wazir, the best gynaecologist in gurgaon at +91 8448128007 or 

Leave A Comment