Why do we need this research?
In the UK, one in five pregnant women are obese. Although obesity is linked to complications during pregnancy and birth, many obese pregnant women have straightforward, uncomplicated births.
In a recent study in the UK, six out of ten obese pregnant women with no medical or pregnancy problems gave birth vaginally without complication or intervention. Despite this, many obese women are asked to give birth in hospital, where they can be cared for by doctors and midwives, just in case something goes wrong.
We think it should be possible to work out which obese but otherwise healthy pregnant women are likely to have uncomplicated pregnancies and vaginal births, so that these women can be given the opportunity to give birth in a midwife-led birth centre.
What’s happening in this project?
To help do this, our researchers are looking at a large nationwide database to see if there are particular characteristics that seem to be linked to uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. The team will then develop a computerised tool that can help health professionals offer personalised choices to the obese pregnant women in their care.
What difference will this project make?
This project could help give obese women peace of mind that they are not likely to have any problems during their pregnancy. It will also help doctors focus specialist care to the women who really need it.
Get our research updates
Tommy’s funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. We can keep you updated on our research news. If you're interested in being kept updated about our research and news from Tommy's, click here.
More research projects
A recently published article, co-authored by Professor Catherine Williamson from Tommy’s Research Centre at King’s College London, suggests that certain pregnancy complications can indicate future health issues for women.
Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.
Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, scientists at Tommy’s Research Centres across the UK are still hard at work, supporting women and families in our specialist clinics and sharing their latest studies with academic journals.
The day before Mother’s Day, and two days before the UK officially went into coronavirus lockdown, Zara Dawson found out she was having a miscarriage. Her third consecutive miscarriage in less than a year, and fourth consecutive loss, after losing her second son Jesse in 2018 to termination for medical reasons.