Heart attacks and obesity during pregnancy

Did you know that if you are overweight or obese when you become a mother your chance of having a heart attack or stroke could double?

Being a good mother also means being good to you. Did you know that if you are overweight or obese when you become a mother your chance of having a heart attack or stroke could double?

Researchers in Denmark examined records of nearly 275,000 new moms. None of the women who had given birth had a history of stroke, heart disease or kidney problems. After analyzing their findings, they learned that obese women are twice as likely as those with normal weight to suffer a heart attack or stroke within four to five years after giving birth.

The general consensus is that “a clear and strong link exists between being overweight and increased risk” of heart attack and stroke. Lead investigator Michelle Schmiegelow, Ph.D.(c), added, “This study is important because although the incidence of heart disease is declining overall, this downward trend doesn’t seem to apply to women 35 to 44 years of age. In fact, coronary artery disease seems to be on the rise in this group, however it is still very rare.”

Being overweight or obese during pregnancy has additional risks for mom and baby. The March of Dimes says “the more overweight you are, the greater the changes for pregnancy complications.” It is known that being overweight can make it harder to conceive and lead to miscarriage, stillbirth and preterm birth.

Babies are pretty resilient but being born to an overweight mom can cause birth defects, injury during birth, death after birth and obesity during childhood. The March of Dimes recommends getting in shape before getting pregnant, getting regular prenatal care and exercising on most days.


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