Maternity Wards Make Way for Obese Mothers

Filed under: In The News

According to a recent survey of hospitals in the UK, obesity among pregnant women has become more than a health issue for these moms and their unborn children. It has also become a logistical problem in that some women get so large that they cannot fit through standard maternity ward doorways. Of 33 birthing centers surveyed, 30 confirmed that they have had to widen their doorways.

Clinical director of obstetrics at University College of London, Jo Modder, says she has witnessed hospital staff struggling to fit an obese mother through a delivery-room door,. "It's not by much, only a couple of inches. But it causes problems and it's not very dignified for patients," she said.

Maternity ward doors are not only being widened to allow larger women to fit through them, but also to accommodate the new, larger maternity beds they require.

According to the UK's Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH), a pregnant woman is considered obese if she has a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 35 or weighs more than 100 kg (200 pounds).

Obviously, obesity during pregnancy can lead to problems a lot more serious than tight doorways. Carrying too much weight can cause significant health issues including diabetes and heart problems and can increase the risk of miscarriage. In recognition of that, some hospitals are going beyond door-widening and considering obesity clinics specifically for pregnant women.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.