Women have long been encouraged to eat sensibly rather than excessively when pregnant. While it has been known for sometime that obesity tends to be linked with a greater risk of complications a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that even women with ‘slightly elevated weight’ (not presenting with diabetes) but who have higher levels of glucose in the blood are at increased risk of carrying a large baby and thereby at increased risk of complications which may result in injury to the baby during vaginal delivery or in the need for a caesarean delivery.
Tests during pregnancy typically look for diabetic and obesity indicators but this research suggests that there is a group of women outside of these indicators who may also be at risk of complications.
Preparing for the possibility of medical intervention should, in my opinion, be a formal part of everyone’s antenatal education as we never truly know what is going to happen on the day. These result emphasise the fact that there is yet another group of women for whom this is essential – unfortunately at present most of them do not know that they fall into this category.