Weight and Pregnancy Complications

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Story Updated: Jun 13, 2013

We all know pregnant women shouldn't smoke...but new research now shows that too much weight may also deliver serious consequences for Moms-to-be and their babies.

In a huge new study of more than 1-point-5 million births in Sweden...overweight and obese mothers were found to be at increased risk for preterm delivery.

A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Preterm delivery is defined as a baby born before 37 weeks, which puts the newborn at risk for serious health problems even death.

Among the deliveries tracked:

3-thousand-82 were extremely early.

6-thousand-893 were very preterm.

and 67-thousand-59 were moderately preterm.

Factoring in the mother's body mass index in early pregnancy, the data showed that the risk for all three types of preterm delivery increased with BMI- and that overweight and obesity-related risks were highest for extremely preterm outcomes.

The researchers say while their study was conducted in Sweden, it has significant relevance for the United States where a sizeable group of women are becoming pregnant at very high BMIs.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading Ð health news that matters to you.

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