Expectant mothers are getting fatter

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Published 6 December 2022 at 14.16

Domestic. The proportion of mothers-to-be with overweight and obesity has continued to increase, new statistics from the National Board of Health and Welfare show.

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Statistics show that more and more expectant mothers are overweight or obese (BMI of over 25 and 30 respectively) when enrolling in maternal health care.

In 1992, this applied to 25 percent, compared to 45 percent in 2021.

There are also large regional differences in the percentage with overweight or obesity. In 2021, the percentage varied between approximately 38 percent in Stockholm and approximately 53 percent in Gävleborg.

– A high BMI is linked to a higher risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and also premature birth or caesarean section. Since high BMI poses a risk to both mother and child, it is worrying that the numbers continue to rise. This shows a continued need for preventive work in society, increased knowledge among healthcare staff and efforts in maternity care, says Anna Sandström, referring physician at the National Board of Health and Welfare and assistant chief physician in obstetrics at Karolinska University Hospital, in a dispatch.