Big Birtha’s Good Morning Britain Update

Big Birtha on GMB with Piers and Susanna

Well, if you didn’t already know by now, Big Birtha (aka Amber Marshall) appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about obesity in pregnancy.

It had been set up as a debate/fight between CEO of the Royal College of Midwives, Cathy Warwick and I as part of their #obesityfocus week, and I’d also been warned that Piers Morgan might be difficult!

Good Morning Britain Big Birthas Tweet

For anyone who missed the segment (understandable, it was at the crack of dawn!!) here’s the direct link:
http://www.itv.com/goodmorningbritain/news/serious-consequences-of-obesity-in-pregnancy

And as if to prove a point, Good Morning Britain lead the segment with some scaremongering…

Autism misrepresentation by Good Morning Britain

The study they are referencing is here:

The Association of Maternal Obesity and Diabetes With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (94.7 KiB)

and surprise surprise, it does not say that children born to obese mothers are 3x more likely to develop Autism. The conclusion is quite clear – “Maternal prepregnancy obesity and maternal diabetes in combination were associated with increased risk for ASD” [emphasis added]

Unfortunately, I wasn’t familiar with the study, so couldn’t make this distinction on air. I also don’t know the base numbers, so again, if you are concerned because you have diabetes – either pre-exisiting or gestational, we don’t know if this is another one of those ‘3x a very small number is still a small number’ cases – it certainly seems to be.

Of course, all Twitter cared about was that my necklace looked like sweets…
GMB Twitter Skittles GMB Twitter M&MsBut all in all, a much less scary interview than I had been led to expect, and it was over in seemingly moments! Cathy Warwick was exactly what you’d hope for in a midwife – sensible, well informed, and supportive. It wasn’t a fight at all. We had a nice chat both beforehand and afterwards in the green room, and there was a lot of common ground between our points of view (seemingly to the disappointment of the production team!).

Big thanks to Piers Morgan (who would have thought I would ever have cause to write that!?!) for spelling out the name of this site, albeit without the ‘s’, and Hello! to the new visitors the exposure national television brought. Pull up a chair, get yourself comfy. You’re among friends here.

x

Big Birtha

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