Being Obese During Pregnancy Can Hinder Fetal Development

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The rising rates of obesity in America are being linked to all sorts of disorders and health concerns. And for expectant mothers, the risks for obesity come with even more complications for both mother and baby that usually results in a c-section. But some new research suggests that obesity in pregnancy can also cause asthma in babies once they grow up, primarily because of metabolism and the hormones that impact fetal development.

The New York Times reports:

…they pointed to previous research indicating that being overweight during pregnancy can throw a woman’s metabolic, hormonal and ovarian activity into turmoil, which in turn can disrupt the normal development of a fetus. A higher body mass index during pregnancy can also set off a spike in levels of leptin, a hormone that binds to receptors in the fetal lung and may be critical to lung development in the womb.

According to the Times, asthma has been on the consistent rise since the 1970s and while the quality of air isn’t really getting any better, our increase in obesity could also be a contributing factor. Doctors note that efforts to reduce obesity in pregnant women might also result in a dip in asthma development in teenagers, which is an interesting correlation to consider.