Pregnant women who are obese or overweight are more likely to have premature babies according to a new Swedish Study which analysed more than 1.5 million births.
This follows on from a previous American study that showed a 30% increased risk of pre-term births. (Pre-term is defined as babies born before 37 weeks).
The children of these pre-term births can also suffer serious health problems as a result of early birth. Pre-term birth is one of the leading causes of serious infant illness and death.
The researchers found that the higher the BMI, the higher the risk of pre-term birth.
Other studies have suggested that women who spontaneously deliver pre-term have been found to have high levels of Cytokines which are released into the blood stream as part of the body’s immune response. Obese and overweight women are more likely to suffer from inflammation which carries an increased risk of urine infections and vaginal infections.
These infections raise the risk of pre-term birth.
Does this research mean it is now acceptable for a pregnant women to diet? Surely having a healthy diet that results in a weight loss throughout their pregnancy is safer than the risk they carry when they are over weight?
Slimming world is now working with the RCM, they want to make their message clear, they are not encouraging weight loss or dieting, instead they say they are supporting women to have a healthy diet whilst pregnant. This, I feel, is a little confusing.
How will that work? Will Slimming World not be giving any affirmations to the pregnant woman on how well she is doing/looking because she just so happens to be losing weight? A healthy diet will almost always result in weightloss, whether you're pregnant or not.
They must know that. Come on, they are after all called SLIMMING world.
I do however believe what they are doing is a step in the right direction. RCM magazine predicted that 18.5% of pregnant women in 2012 were obese. Something has got to change. Our bodies were designed to carry one or two babies alone, not on top of the weight of 6 others.
Asides from a healthy diet, is it safe for pregnant women to exercise? Should heavily pregnant women be seen at the gym? Obviously this would raise concerns on correct training. During the later stages of pregnancy you have to be careful of high impact on the body, over stretching etc. Gentle exercise is okay.
It is a woman's right to chose what she will (or won't) do throughout her pregnancy. After all it is her body and her baby. I just believe that perhaps, women need to be made aware of the risks they are taking.
Nurture Antenatal x