Why is it necessary to keep track of BMI during pregnancy?

You might have heard of BMI weight scale and how it functions. In short, it divides your weight in Kg by square of height in meter. If you clock at between 18.5 and 24.9, you are supposed to have a normal body mass index. But if you clock at over 24.9, you will be regarded as over-weight, and if that value crosses 30, brace yourself to be labeled as obese, a possible dreadful scenario for every individual.

Keeping track of body mass index is of paramount importance for individuals, as increased BMI is shown to be associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, and other chronic diseases. But it bears, even more, significance for pregnant mothers and their unborn child. We explain why.

Pregnant mothers with higher BMI are three times more susceptible to developing gestational diabetes mellitus than someone with normal BMI. Gestational diabetes mellitus poses greater health risks for mother and child. Hence, doctors might advise pregnant women to go for an oral glucose tolerance test at the completion of the 28th week. If they are found positive for the test, additional measures are taken immediately to avoid potential complications.

Being pregnant renders you more vulnerable to life threatening cardiovascular diseases. You are already more prone to developing thrombosis than normal women. Add to that your increased BMI, and you are suddenly a prime candidate for developing thrombosis in your lungs or deep veins of legs. That might have catastrophic consequences for you and your unborn child.

If you have high BMI, you are more likely to have high blood pressure and develop preeclampsia. Women with a BMI over 35 and hypertension are referred to physicians for further evaluations as they are two times more likely to develop preeclampsia, a life-threatening condition in the last trimester.

Your high BMI might have significant consequences for your fetus too. Children of mothers with high BMI are more likely to develop diabetes in their later life, and most of them end up being obese themselves. Furthermore, mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus might produce offspring weighing more than 5 kg at the time of their birth. This might cause the labor to be complicated for both mother and the child. Your baby might be born premature, and he/she might suffer from shoulder dystocia or several other birth injuries.

As you can guess, keeping your BMI in check is an absolute must. For that, you might require a BMI weight scale, which will calculate your BMI automatically and let you know if you are in the safe zone. There are hundreds of companies manufacturing such machines, and you can easily purchase one from an online store or a physical one.