NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Maternal obesity is a growing threat against newborns, according to Dr. Adam Buckley who tracks the numbers of the growing dangerous trend across the five boroughs.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Frightening Numbers

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“In specific boroughs, it might be 1 in 3 women are obese and pregnant,” says Buckley. “It might be 1 out of 4 depending on where you are looking exactly, but it is a very significant problem.”

Buckley tells WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond that it is indicative of a public health crisis.

Buckley, an OB/GYN and patient safety expert at Beth Israel Medical Center is leading a study in six city hospitals on maternal obesity and ways to improve outcomes.

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He says they’ve adapted “with special beds, special scales, special operating room instruments.”

“We really want neonatology involved in the care of these patients early. Babies born of obese mothers are much more likely to go to the special care nursery of the neonatal intensive care unit. They’re at risk for neonatal death,” says Buckley.

The mothers are also at risk. Obese women are also more likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes. Two of three maternal deaths in New York can be blamed on obesity.

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WCBS 880 and Walgreens invite you to join us as we team up with the March of Dimes for the March for Babies walk on Sunday, May starting at Lincoln Center. Help fight premature birth. To register, go to Let’s walk together for stronger, healthier babies.