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Why your weight matters during pregnancy and after birth

Published: 30/11/2011

Most women who are overweight have a straightforward pregnancy and birth and deliver healthy babies. However, being overweight does increase the risk of complications to both you and your baby. Your healthcare professionals will not judge you for being overweight and will give you all the support that you need.

This information is about the extra care you will be offered during your pregnancy and how you can minimise the risks to you and your baby in this pregnancy, and in a future pregnancy. It covers:

  • What body mass index (BMI) is
  • When your BMI should be calculated during pregnancy
  • The risks of a raised BMI during pregnancy, labour and birth
  • How you can reduce the risks during pregnancy
  • Planning for labour and birth
  • What happens after birth
  • Planning for a future pregnancy

This information is based on the RCOG clinical guideline Management of Women with Obesity in Pregnancy and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline Dietary interventions and physical activity interventions for weight management before, during and after pregnancy.

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