End: August 2019
This means that it is important to understand whether obese women worry about the risks of pregnancy and birth, and whether this affects the decisions they make about where they give birth.
Tailored pregnancy care that suits the woman's circumstances
The care a woman receives during pregnancy and birth should be tailored to her individual circumstances, and a wide range of choices are offered. NICE recommends that all obese women with a BMI over 35, and some with a BMI over 30, give birth in a hospital where they can be looked after by doctors and midwives (a BMI over 30 is considered obese, while over 40 is severely obese).
However, there are many more midwife-led birth centres in the UK than there were ten years ago, some of which are alongside hospital birth centres, and it may be appropriate for some obese pregnant women to give birth at these centres.
Good advice on where to give birth is important
We believe that it is important for obese women to be properly advised and supported when they make decisions about where they want to give birth, especially because many do have uncomplicated pregnancies and births.
By looking at interviews with obese women that have already been published in scientific journals, we want to understand how the discussions women have with healthcare professionals make them feel about the risks they face in pregnancy, and whether this influences the decisions they make.
Our hope is that we can then support healthcare providers in their discussions with obese pregnant women, so that these women are better informed and able to make the right choices for their individual circumstances.