Obesity in Pregnancy Essay

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Article Review: Forming a new life Health Day: Obesity may hide fetal abnormalities on ultrasounds Alan Mozes: Health day reporter In this article the topic in question is, If fetal birth defects are less likely to be detected in an obese or overweight woman than in a woman of average body mass- index? The article states that 10,000 standard ultrasound exams were analyzed and results found that as maternal body mass increased the detection of fetuses with major birth defects decreased. Comparing women of normal body mass- index and women that were obese the difference was 20 percent. Studies show that the specific risk for incorrectly receiving a so called normal ultrasound reading showed up in just one in every 250 women with average body mass-index to one with every 100 obese women. One encounter during an ultrasound that makes it difficult to see the abnormalities in the fetus is tissue scarring. If there is a lot of scarring present the tissue is thicker and makes imaging during an ultrasound difficult to see. Previous studies by Wolfe, in 1990 show that the heart and spine are the anatomical structures most difficult to visualize when performing and ultrasound on an obese woman. It’s clear to understand that obesity can affect the quality of an ultrasound. Normally during an ultrasound the sound waves will bounce off of the fetus in the amnion and this can be disrupted in the presence of high levels of body fat. Also giving ultrasounds isn’t the same with every patient. It’s different depending on the mother and the baby’s condition. Obesity is associated with high risk of maternal death and of other complications like, pre-eclampsia, diabetes and postpartum hemorrhage. With obesity rates increasing in reproductive aged women, this is an issue that should be taken into consideration for further studies in counseling for pregnant women that are overweight
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