||Contact | A-Z Health Index | Events & Meetings|
FOR RELEASE: October 12 2006
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Can Impact Health Outcomes for Mom and Baby
Having a healthy body weight before pregnancy can help women avoid costly and potentially serious pregnancy-related complications, say public health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).
Overweight and obese women who become pregnant often require more health care resources than women with normal body weight for height according to an analysis of Oklahoma Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) survey data for years 2000 – 2003. PRAMS is a population-based study of maternal behaviors and experiences before, during and after pregnancy.
Weight for height categories were determined by calculating body mass index, or BMI, according to the Institute of Medicine standards for pregnant women. The PRAMS study reviewed BMI levels for pre-pregnant women in the categories: Normal (19.8-25.9), Overweight (26-28.9), and Obese (29+). For example, a woman who is 5’4’’ and weighs 175 pounds has a BMI of 30 and is obese. Underweight women with a BMI less than 19.8 were excluded from this study.
The PRAMS study recommends that women who wish to become pregnant should be at a normal BMI prior to pregnancy to optimize the health outcomes for themselves and their infants. Being obese (BMI 29+) can lead to problems during pregnancy like gestational diabetes and hypertension. In addition, obese women are the most likely to have a cesarean section, which can carry its own health risks. Obesity prior to pregnancy may also mean longer and more costly hospital stays due to these complications and an increased risk of admission to neonatal intensive care units for infants.
Some of the key findings of the PRAMS survey indicate the following:
OSDH public health officials recommend the following:
For more information about maternal and child health related to BMI weight, contact Nancy Bacon, MCH Consultant, at 405-271-4471. To calculate your own BMI, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s BMI calculator at: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/index.htm. For more information on other PRAMS studies, visit this Web site: http://www.health.ok.gov/program/mchp&e/pramarch.html.
Copyright © State of Oklahoma