Obese women are more likely to suffer gestational diabetes, a group of local doctors said Wednesday.
According to a study on 2,454 pregnant women by professors Shin Jong-chul and Choi Se-kyung of Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, women who were overweight before pregnancy had a 1.58 times as much chance of suffering from gestational diabetes. It went up as high as 4.5 times higher among obese women.
The risk of gestational hypertension was 2.2 times higher among overweight women and 2.5 times higher among obese women.
On the other hand, women who were underweight before pregnancy were more likely to suffer various complications after giving birth and their babies were also likely to be affected. About 17.3 per cent of underweight women were found with complications and their babies had higher chances of being treated at intensive care units.
"The study results show that maintaining a certain level of weight is extremely important: You should not be too fat or too thin," Shin said.
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies considers it safe for underweight women to gain about 12.5-18 kilograms during pregnancy (including amniotic fluid and fetus); for normal weight women, 11.5-16 kilograms; for overweight women, 7-11.5 kilograms; and for obese women, 5-9.1 kilograms.
The findings were published in the January edition of the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology.