Babies put at risk by mums who 'eat for two'
Pregnant women who eat for two are putting their babies at risk, doctors say. One in 20 women are severely obese before they become pregnant and adding extra pounds before the birth compounds the problem.
Women with a body mass index of 35 or over, equivalent to a weight of 15 stone for a woman of average height (5ft 5in), have twice the risk of losing their baby in a stillbirth.
They are four times more likely to bleed after the birth, twice as likely to require seven days or more in hospital and 50 per cent more likely to need a Caesarean. They also have higher rates of fertility problems, miscarriage, blood clots, diabetes and infection.
The first national study of obesity in pregnancy was conducted by the Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries of all 364 maternity units in the UK, of which 320 responded.
Nine out of 10 units cared for severely obese women, including 62 per cent of midwifery units, despite many lacking wide enough beds and trolleys and operating tables strong enough to take them.
Tim Draycott, consultant obstetrician at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, said: "Eating for two is a commonly held belief much reinforced by generations past. Those who start off heavier tend to put on weight very rapidly. We see women putting on a stone a month. There are significant associated complications for mothers and babies and much of that is preventable with the right care."
Life & Style blogs
Other popular areas include Didsbury, Clifton in Bristol, central Cambridge and West Bridgford
Doctors are allowed to have personal beliefs, just as long as these beliefs do not interfere with th...
BBC journalist Justin Webb talks about his experiences of the advances in preventing heart attacks a...
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Meet David Karp, the 26-year-old high school dropout worth $275m after selling Tumblr to Yahoo
Game on: Xbox 720 and PS4 go head to head with Microsoft set to launch console today
'The ultimate all-in-one home entertainment system': Microsoft finally unveils its Xbox ONE console
Virtually Stephen Fry: Star launches (possibly) the world's most self-regarding app
- 1 'He was lucky he didn't die' - George Michael fell out of speeding car onto M1 motorway, according to eye witness
- 2 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 5 'It was just like the movie Twister': Man survives Oklahoma tornado by taking refuge in horse stall
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Salary Package - £60K to £120K: Austen Lloyd: We have an exciting op...
£200 - £250 per day: Progressive Recruitment: Java Developer - Urgent Requirem...
£70000 - £95000 per annum + Bonus, flexible working hours, remote work: Progre...
£50000 - £56000 per annum + Benefits package, flexible working hours: Progress...