First-time mothers who are overweight have increased health risks
Obese first-time mothers have a greatly increased risk of pre-eclampsia. They are also more likely to have a premature and low birthweight baby.
Nearly one in five women with a body mass index (BMI) over 30 who were pregnant for the first time had a baby of lower than normal birth weight, a study of British and Dutch mothers found. This is nearly twice the rate for the general population.
In addition, 11.7% of obese first-time mothers developed pre-clampsia, compared to 2% of the general population. The risk of pre-eclampsia increased with BMI, according to the Times today.
The study of 385 obese first time mothers, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, found that 39% had their babies by Caesarean section. This is the highest rate ever recorded, said the authors.