Overweight pregnant mums barred from giving birth at local hospital

Women over 15 stone must travel 20 miles to a high-tech maternity unit

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Mums-to-be at a Somerset hospital who have a body mass index of over 34 will be forced to travel 20 miles to a high-tech maternity unit, reports the Daily Mail. Pregnant women will be barred from giving birth at Weston General Hospital in Somerset if midwives consider them to be too fat.

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Mums weighing more than 15 stone will be turned away from the unit because of fears among staff that obese patients could come into trouble during childbirth. Women with a high BMI are thought to carry an increased risk of bleeding and complications during labour.

A spokesman for the Weston Area NHS Trust said, “Our foremost concern is for the safety of mothers who deliver here and their babies. Those with a high BMI are at an increased risk during labour.”

But Carole Welch, who runs a local Slimming World class in the area, said, “Women who live in the town, no matter what their size, should be able to give birth without traveling miles and miles. Surely the hospital should upgrade their facilities to take in every pregnant woman.”

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