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Excess weight linked to complications in pregnancy

High BMIs could lead to problems for mums-to-be

Posted: 15 February 2010
by Clio FitzHerbert

Overweight or obese women are more likely to experience complications in birth and have a higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, a US study suggests.

Mums-to-be with Body Mass Indexes (BMI) of 42 or greater (severely obese) were three times more likely to have an excessively large baby, while their chances of having a C-section doubled compared to the leanest women, the study found. Delivering very large babies can put mum and baby more at risk of injury.

The heaviest women’s chances of developing pre-eclampsia, a serious pregnancy condition that affects the placenta, was 14 times greater. However the risk of having a pre-term baby was halved, research suggests.

The study specifically focused on how BMI, which measures weight in relation to height, affects pregnancy and birth, independently of diabetes.

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pre-eclampsia, birth, BMI, obesity, pregnancy, overweight

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