25/03/2011 08:18 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Link Between Newborn Death And Obese Mums Is 'Worrying', Say Medics

Newborn deaths increase due to obese mums A new report claims the number of deaths in newborn babies to obese mums is 'worryingly high'.

The Perinatal Mortality 2009 report, published by the Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries (CMACE) has found that 10% of mothers who had a stillbirth or whose babies died in the neonatal period had a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 35 or more.

The report also found links between stillbirths and neonatal deaths and age, with mums suffering a stillbirth or neonatal death tending to be younger (under 25) and older (40 and over).

The president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Dr Tony Falconer told the Press Association: 'Every stillbirth is a tragic event. This report highlights a promising downward trend of perinatal mortality over the last 10 years.

'However, worryingly, the numbers of perinatal deaths linked to rising obesity is high. Maternal obesity is a key public health concern and pregnant women who are obese need to know about the possible risks to them and their baby. The ideal situation of course would be for women to maintain a healthy weight before they fall pregnant to ensure the best outcome for them and their babies.

He added that mums must be encouraged to eat healthy foods and lead active lives: 'It is vitally important for women to be encouraged to lead healthy lifestyles throughout their lives and they can get good information from their GPs on diet, nutrition and exercise.'

What do you think?
Are obese women becoming more and more 'picked on' in the media?
Do you dispute findings like this, or do you agree that medics SHOULD be encouraging mothers to lead healthier lifestyles?

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