Obesity during pregnancy means mum face bigger health risks

Study puts spotlight on increased risk of complications for overweight mums

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Obese or overweight women are more likely to develop health complications during pregnancy, new research out today has revealed.

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The study found that their risk of gestational diabetes was increased four-fold and they were also three times as likely to have a still birth, premature delivery, or a newborn requiring neonatal care as women of normal weight.

Overweight mums-to-be also have a greater likelihood of high blood pressure, drug induced labours and Caesarean deliveries, reports The Mirror

The study, by a team from Queen’s University and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, monitored more than 30,000 mothers-to-be over an eight-year period.

“Obesity rates have doubled in the last 30 years. This large-scale study clearly demonstrates that being overweight or obese during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes,” said Dr Valerie Holmes from the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast who co-wrote the report.

The report revealed that of the 30,298 pregnancies assessed between 2004 and 2011, an estimated 2.8% of women were underweight, 52.% were normal weight and 28% were overweight.

In overweight and obese women there was also an increased likelihood of postnatal problems, such as unsuccessful breastfeeding.

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