Important to be a healthy weight throughout pregnancy says RCM’

on 08 May 2019 Pregnancy and Weight Management

A new studied published by JAMA has found that the more a woman weighed at the start of her pregnancy, the more likely she was to experience complications such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and pre-term birth

Responding, Birte Harlev-Lam Director for Professional Leadership at Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; “This and other research underlines why it is so important to be a healthy weight when trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy and beyond. 

 “The RCM recommends the midwives follow NICE guidelines which further support this evidence and states If a pregnant woman is obese this will have a greater influence on her health and the health of her unborn child than the amount of weight she may gain during pregnancy.

“That is why it is important, when necessary, to help women lose weight before they become pregnant. 

“Dieting during pregnancy is not recommended as it may harm the health of the unborn child.

"There are a number of potential complications in pregnancy with links to being obese that can occur and some of these can be serious, such as miscarriage and blood clots. 

“If we can reduce levels of obesity in pregnancy it could make significant improvements to the health of the mother and her baby. There is clearly a need to invest in services that support weight management and for much more efforts to be made to reduce obesity in the population as a whole.”

For more information this on this study is available from JAMA Network Media Relations
[email protected]

For further information please contact the RCM Media Relations Team on 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]


Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at