Bedford Hospital NHS Trust (Bedford Hospital, Bedford)

Bedford Hospital,

Kempston Road, Bedford, England, MK42 9DJ

Tel: 01234 355122

Bedford Hospital recorded that 13.5% of pregnant women seen during 2007/8 were obese.

Interestingly, their policy applies to women with a BMI of 30 or more, or who weigh 100kg or more.

If your BMI is between 30 and 35, or you weigh more than 100kg, you can expect the ‘here’s all the things that are more likely to go wrong with your pregnancy because you’re fat’ conversation and given a glucose tolerance test 28 weeks, be given a leaflet about contacting a dietitian and be referred to a ‘healthy weight pregnancy group’, and will be booked into Consultant Care.

They recommend you gain between 5kg and 11.5kg during the pregnancy, and hope that your GP will have mentioned that you should be taking 5mg folic acid daily instead of the 400μg (micrograms) usually recommended.

You will apparently be ‘fully risk assessed’ at every appointment, considered for low molecular weight heparin (a blood thinner) as a precaution against DVT (deep vein thrombosis) if you have two or more risk factors in addition to being overweight, or for 7 days after delivery if you have one additional risk factor, and be told the signs of DVT to watch out for.

You’ll be considered for extra growth scans at 32 weeks (at 28 weeks, 32 weeks and 36 weeks… Not sure how they assess for a scan 4 weeks in the past, but that’s what the policy says!), and you’ll be weighed again at 30 weeks to check they are using suitable equipment for your weight.

If your BMI is between 35 and 40, you can expect the above, but you’ll be advised to have a ‘consultant led hospital birth’. Personally I’d prefer a baby or woman led birth with a consultant available, but hey. You’ll also be monitored every three weeks for signs of pre-eclampsia. If it is your first pregnancy or you haven’t been pregnant for 10 years, you’re aged over 40, you have a family history of pre-eclampsia, or you’re having more than one baby, you’ll likely be advised to take daily aspirin.

If your BMI is over 40, you can expect the above, an automatic referral to a dietitian, be offered a consultation with an anaesthetist, and offered medication for 7 days after the birth to thin your blood to reduce the likelihood of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), and a presumably fairly patronising assessment of your ‘manual handling needs’ (i.e. can you get yourself out of a chair, can you wash yourself).I have referred back to the trust for information on IVF and waterbirth as they haven’t answered either of these queries.

Policies current at February 2013

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