HEALTH WATCH: Obesity Women & Babies

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:54 PM CDT
HEALTH WATCH:  Obesity Women & Babies story image
ESCAMBIA COUNTY  --  More babies are born to obese mothers in Escambia County than most other Florida counties.
Extremely overweight moms and their newborns face potentially life threatening complications during gestation -- and beyond.

Doctor William Dobak knows first hand about the dangers of obesity and pregnancy.
At Emory in Atlanta -- where he spent his fellowship training in high risk obstetrics.

(("A lot of of our patients weighed in excess of 500 pounds."))
Dobak says in some of those cases -- mother and child did not make it through delivery.

(("It really has been amazing how what the association is between the obesity and pregnancy complications affecting both mom and the baby."))

An overweight pregnant woman has an increased risk for gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and early delivery.

During ultrasound it's more difficult to see the baby's organs and tougher to monitor the baby's heart and growth.

This recent groundbreaking committee opinion from the American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists is calling for nutritional counseling for pregnant obese patients -- along with highlighting the need for more specialists at delivery.

(("A push toward having an anesthesiologists consult.  A lot of times these patients require intubation, becomes much more challenging."))

Dobak says epidural placement is challenging -- and post delivery,  wound infection and blood clots are often a problem.

Babies born to obese mothers have higher risk of neural tube and heart defects.
(("Pregnancy is the first time people feel vulnerable and they also want to be healthy for their child."))

Dobak never prescribes losing weight to his heavy patients -- but he does discuss their weight with them, always a tough talk.
He stresses between pregnancy weight loss.  And says often moms do get motivated to get healthier after  delivery.

(("That's what's keeps us going so it energizes us to have these conversations with our patients."))
Dobak and his wife are expecting for the first time -- twins are due, another kind of high risk pregnancy.  He says like never before he understands the stresses his patients face.

(("Because I'm gonna be a father soon, I've made changes in my life and in my habits now I have little ones depending on me."))
 HEALTH WATCH: Obesity Women & Babies
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