Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation that works out whether you are a healthy weight for your height. For pregnant women your BMI calculation will be based on your weight before pregnancy. Your BMI can be described as follows: 18.5 or less = underweight;
The labour and delivery may be more difficult and possibly more risky for a high BMI (over 25) and much more risky if your BMI is over 30.
If your BMI is 30 or above the risks include:
If you are overweight your baby is also more likely to be overweight and develop diabetes in later life. It can also become more difficult to monitor the baby, or to use an epidural. Also – just generally it’s more uncomfortable for you as an expectant Mum if you’re carrying too much weight, and it can put a lot of strain on your back and pelvic girdle. Overall it’s helpful to understand the risks so you can feel encouraged about the importance of getting your weight to a healthy level – ideally before you become pregnant – or during your pregnancy. Your midwifery team will help you – and there will be community or hospital weight clinics you can attend to help you along the way!
Information courtesy of the brilliant Midwifery team at the Whittington Hospital in London.