Pregnancy news, 08/09/16
This week we were concerned to hear about an American model’s plans to reach her ‘fantasy’ weight of 70 stone and become a mother.
Monica Riley is 27 and currently weighs 50 stone. Her work as a ‘supersize’ model means that she is encouraged to put on weight for her career. Monica has stated that she wants to reach a size where she is completely bedbound.
Being overweight or obese is proven to cause severe health problems and it is upsetting that Monica is being actively told to put on weight by those closest to her. Becoming pregnant when you’re overweight or obese carries its own serious risks.
What are the risks of being overweight or obese in pregnancy ?
The higher your BMI (over 25) the higher the risk that it will complicate your pregnancy. The risks are slightly raised for a woman with a BMI of 25, for example, but much higher for a woman with a BMI over 40.
If your BMI is 30 or above the risks include:
- high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.
- pregnancy (gestational) diabetes.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis – developing a blood clot in your legs or lungs.
- stillbirth, but this risk is still low at one in 100.
- early miscarriage, the risk rises from one in five to one in four.
- macrosomia (having a baby who is too big)
- longer labour, labour being induced, emergency caesarean delivery or having problems after the birth, such as infection or heavy bleeding
While Monica’s case is extreme, weight and obesity are a concern for many women trying for a baby. If you are planning a pregnancy and are overweight then it’s really important to talk to your doctor or midwife first.
Our midwife Kate explains:
“If you are planning a pregnancy and aware that you may need some support with your weight then accessing help and support as early on as possible is important. It can make a real difference to you and your baby’s health. While this story shows the very extreme, it is necessary to be aware of the potential risks of being overweight or obese in pregnancy, during labour and after having the baby and how best to manage these from the start.”
Although you will be putting on weight in pregnancy as your baby grows, limiting the amount of extra weight gain in pregnancy will improve your health and your baby's, both now and in the future.
BMI stands for body mass index, and this is a way for your health team to know whether you are a healthy weight for your height. This BMI calculator is based on your pre-pregnancy weight.
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