Lifestyle Disorders and their impact on Pregnancy -

Lifestyle Disorders and their impact on Pregnancy

Lifestyle Disorders and their impact on Pregnancy

by: Dr. Monica Agarwal
Sr. Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology - Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Lifestyle disorders are defined as health problems that arise due to changes in lifestyle. This cause less oxygen levels in blood and hypoxia occur. Habits, behaviours and practices such as poor eating habits, inactivity or smoking cause these. Factors which we cannot control are age, gender and hereditary.

Risk factors responsible for causing lifestyle disorders:

Majority of us have desk jobs that include sitting for more than 6 hours at one place without any physical activity. The advent of modern technology has also simplified our lives and today we lead very inactive lives, making us susceptible to lifestyle disorders. The common risk factors or habits that can increase the threat are:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Type A personality
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Dietary factors

A healthy lifestyle is the only way:

The best way to ensure that you are free from any lifestyle complications and issues that can affect your health or your pregnancy is by leading a balanced an active life. The following are the aspects that need to be included to achieve the same.

What to add to your Healthy diet?

  • Fruits, vegetables and dry fruits
  • Fibre
  • Whole grain food
  • Protein
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Food rich in iron, calcium and folic acid.
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E and D should be supplemented

What to avoid?

  • Avoid fast food, junk, sugary food, street food, colas, refined food
  • Raw or undercooked food
  • Caffeine should be around 200mg per day which is around 2 cups of coffee

Impact of Lifestyle Disorders on Pregnancy:

  • Impact on pregnancy– Earlier, these were very rare in pregnancy. But now due to late pregnancy and disorders in lifestyle, these problems are increasing each day. Smoking, substance abuse, obesity is also on the rise. Being a mother puts a lot of responsibility on you so prior to conceiving you should optimise your health by eating healthy, maintaining the healthy weight, exercise and taking your supplements.

Diabetes, high BP, cardiovascular disease are becoming common complications in pregnancy which can be easily controlled to a certain extent by lifestyle changes. Unnecessary weight gain is also a huge issue which can be tackled by taking adequate and balanced food. In a woman of normal BMI, weight gain of 11-16 kgs is recommended.

  • Anaemia – Defined as low haemoglobin which has a major impact on the mother and baby. The cause is usually an iron deficiency in the diet. So take iron rich diet and supplements.
  • Stress- Maternal stress can lead to preterm labour or IUGR and susceptibility to disorders like depression, anxiety, drug abuse or chronic disorders like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity in a baby.
  • Smoking- Smoke has approximately 4000 toxic compounds which are at risk to the baby. Side effects of smoking are reversible if it is quit before 15 weeks. Otherwise, it can cause preterm delivery, IUGR, low birth weight, respiratory problems, poor neurodevelopment, increased risk of hyperactivity etc.
  • Environmental pollutants- Increased pollution can cause preterm labour, low birth weight. Traffic-related polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons increase chances of cancer and asthma. Exposure to particular events during critical stages of pregnancy can alter gene expression in the foetus which may persist throughout life.

To conclude we can say that as the health, intelligence and temperament of the child depends on the type of nutrients it receives during fetal life, pollution and drugs exposure and physical and mental health of the mother. So stay healthy, happy, stress-free and move around to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Paras Bliss Guraon
Paras Bliss Panchkula