Wednesday, July 16, 2008
New York Times Reports on Risks of Obesity & Pregnancy
New York Times: Too Fat and Pregnant, by Annie Murphy Paul:
After decades in which the obesity epidemic spread to every demographic group in the nation, it has also ended up here: the maternity ward. One in five women who give birth in the U.S. is obese, according to Susan Chu, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And doctors are seeing more pregnant women who are morbidly obese, weighing 400, 500, even 600 pounds. Excess weight makes pregnancy riskier: obese women are more likely to develop hypertension and diabetes, and to deliver prematurely. The need to manage their conditions, and to meet their logistical needs, is giving rise to a new medical subspecialty, what some are calling “bariatric obstetrics.” Chames, who already sees at least a dozen morbidly obese pregnant women each month, will direct his hospital’s new Center for Bariatric Obstetric Care when it opens later this summer.