Women's Health

BMI Increases Stillbirth and Infant Death Risk: Learn Why

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently released a report saying pregnant women with a high body mass index (BMI) have an increased risk of stillbirth and infant death.

Body mass index is a measurement that helps determine if your weight is healthy for your height.

How an Unhealthy BMI Can Lead to Complications

Researchers analyzed 38 separate studies of BMI and pregnancy, revealing that even a slight increase in the mother’s BMI were associated with:

  • Increased risk of fetal death
  • Stillbirth
  • Infant death

While it’s not necessarily the weight itself that puts mom at risk or baby at risk for dying, but instead, it’s the complications that may arise from it. These complications can include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Preeclampsia (When a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week) 

Researchers think fat cells can create these problems because they produce inflammation in the body. You can fight inflammation with a healthy diet and exercise.


Start with Walking to Get Fit

If you’ve been sedentary and want to start getting active, Don Gallucci, fitness coach and personal trainer at the TriHealth Fitness and Health Pavilion, says to consider starting a walking program.

“Go at your own pace. If you have a friend, think about if you have a conversation with the friend as you’re walking,” he points out. “You can talk a sentence, but not a paragraph. If you’re not able to talk that sentence, you both may need to slow down and maintain a pace where you can talk a sentence at a time.”

Tags Women's Health

Last Updated: May 19, 2014