What is the Bariatric Pregnancy Program at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital?
The Bariatric Pregnancy Program is a specialized clinic focusing on the needs of the overweight or obese pregnant women. The program is intended to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and to facilitate a smooth transition from pregnancy to labor, delivery and post-delivery phases of pregnancy.
What constitutes a bariatric pregnancy?
Expectant mothers are referred to the program from their primary health care provider when their Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 40 or their BMI is 35 and they have high risk medical conditions in addition to their pregnancy. Your BMI is determined by calculating your height and weight into a BMI program (many of which are free on the internet). Based on the literature, a BMI in the general population of 25 or more is considered to be overweight and a BMI of 30 or greater is considered to be obese.
What sparked this program?
The Bariatric Pregnancy Program started in response to the growing number of pregnant obese patients within Delaware County. The literature has found that two in three women (ages 15-49) are overweight or obese making it one of the most commonly occurring obstetrical high risk factors in the United States. This in turn places the mother and her baby at extremely high risk of developing other medical health problems before, during and after pregnancy. In addition, studies have shown that weight gain before, during and after pregnancy not only affects the current pregnancy but is a major factor in developing obesity and/or medical complications related to obesity later in life.
How does it affect the baby and the mother?
Overweight and obesity in the pregnant women is the most common condition and is associated with high-risk complications in pregnant women such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac and respiratory problems such as sleep apnea.
The newborn can also be effected by causing him/her to have complications of preterm labor, large infant, difficulties maintaining his/her temperatures, feeding difficulties, jaundice and low blood sugar.
How can IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital help the mother, which in turn will help the unborn child?
Maintaining an optimal weight gain and addressing medical conditions associated with obesity during pregnancy is key in experiencing a healthy pregnancy outcome. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is assisting women and families to reach this goal by using a multi-disciplinary team approach with the patient/family first. The goal of Women Children Services at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital team is to facilitate a strong and healthy pregnancy and delivery.