Studies suggest that babies of obese mothers
are about twice as likely as women of average weight to have a baby with spina bifida (open spine) or related birth defects. They also may be at slightly increased risk of heart and limb defects. Today about 1 in 4 women of reproductive age are obese. A woman who is obese should discuss her weight with her health care provider before pregnancy and work towards reaching a healthy weight to improve her chances of having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.