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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

* Fastest growing cause of women dying in pregnancy

This is an article I found about how being overweight during pregnancy can increase the risk of death. Yes, we all should know that....and even if we do know it...we still don't exercise like we should! I know I don't! I am talking about the people who are capable...and don't have other health issues that may make losing weight more difficult. Maybe I will remember this article next time I want a cheeseburger! ....I am not close to being pregnant now...but I wouldn't want to be unhealthy when I do become pregnant!

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Maternal deaths linked to obesity
By Branwen Jeffreys
BBC News Health Correspondent


Maria Thornton

Pregnant and 19st

Obesity is the fastest growing cause of women dying in pregnancy or childbirth in the UK, a report shows.

More than half the 295 women who died during or after pregnancy between 2003 and 2005 were overweight or obese.

Experts say the number of deaths - from a total of two million pregnancies - is low - but the trend is very worrying.

The Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths (CEMACH) report calls for more support and advice for obese women before and during pregnancy.


Obese pregnant women are probably at four or five times greater risk of suffering maternal death than a woman of normal weight - and the same for their babies dying
Dr Gwyneth Lewis
Maternity tsar

Calculate your BMI

Gwyneth Lewis, CEMACH director and the government's maternity tsar, said the figures showed that childbirth was very safe in the UK.

But she said the growing evidence of a link to obesity was a cause for concern.

Significant problem

The figures suggest that a modest amount of extra weight in pregnancy carries little extra risk, but obesity poses a significant problem.

Fifteen per cent of the mothers who died were morbid or super-morbidly obese.

Dr Lewis said: "Obese pregnant women are probably at four or five times greater risk of suffering maternal death than a woman of normal weight - and the same for their babies dying."


Catherine Collins

Nutrition advice

She is concerned many women are not aware of the risk associated with obesity.

Overall, the UK has one of the lowest rates of maternal death in the world, at seven per 100,000 pregnancies.

In comparison, the rate in the US is 14 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies, and in France it is 18.

However, the death rate in the UK has stopped falling. With obesity levels predicted to soar experts say it is vital that women are fully aware they should try to get to a healthy weight before trying to conceive.

The report says excess weight not only puts a woman at risk of medical complications, it can mask symptoms and cause logistical problems.

In one case, there was a delay in spotting that a woman was at risk of seizures, because a blood pressure cuff could not fit around her arm.