Everything is bigger in Texas.
Well, almost everything. Until Alaska was admitted to the Union, Texas was the biggest state. It is now the second biggest state. It is the second most populous state in the Union. California ranks number one. Despite suspicion that the state motto might actually be “everything is bigger in Texas,” the fact of the matter is that the state motto is “friendship.”
Perhaps a more appropriate slogan might be “Everything is not really bigger in Texas, although there are a lot of things that are pretty big.” Then again, maybe not. Less colorful and too wordy for a bumper sticker. Still in all, Texas has some pretty big stuff.
For instance, when Janet Johnson gave birth to 16 pound JaMichael Brown he was thought to be the largest baby ever born in Texas. Although he was not the biggest baby ever born, he is still one big kid and part of an increasing trend that has doctors concerned. Supersized births are on the rise, and this turn of events is disconcerting because of the trouble it can spell for both mothers and infants.
Obesity in Pregnancy
About 36% of women in the United States are obese and about 8% are considered to have extreme obesity. In addition, over one half of all pregnant women in the U.S. are overweight or obese. For many mothers the world over, the risk of having an oversized baby has increased in tandem with the rise in obesity.
If a woman is overweight or obese while pregnant, the risk of birth defects, preterm birth, and obesity later on in the child’s life increases. Children can also develop insulin resistance, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Researchers have also discovered that children who are born to overweight or obese mothers are more likely to die before they turn 55 years old.
Health Risks Associated With Obesity During Pregnancy
Large babies increase the potential for shoulder dystocia. When babies grow too big, the shoulders can become larger than the head. The baby can then become stuck beneath the pubic bone during delivery and cause the child’s bones to fracture while the mother could end up with trauma and tearing.
Overweight mothers are often diabetic while pregnant. The high blood sugar flows to the baby and causes the pancreas to increase production of insulin. Babies might then be born with low blood sugar.
Sugar also acts as a growth factor although all the growth may not be coordinated. For instance, larger babies may have immature lungs. Problems can carry into adulthood including increased risks for cancer and obesity.
To help combat the problem of oversized births, clinical trials are being conducted to determine the impact of a drug that will keep blood sugar low in pregnant women who are obese.
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Published On: January 09, 2014