Pregnancy lifestyle clinic

If you are overweight or obese and pregnant, there are lots of reasons why it's important to manage your weight.

Research has shown that women who have a high BMI at the start of their pregnancy have an increased risk of complications during pregnancy, labour and birth.

Body mass index (BMI)

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a calculation that works out whether you are a healthy weight for your height.   For pregnant women your BMI calculation will be based on your weight at your 12 week scan. It will be classed according to the following groups:

18.5 or less = underweight

Between 18.5 and 24.9 = healthy weight

Between 25 and 29.9 = overweight

Over 30 = obese

Click here to calculate your BMI.


BMI over 35 at booking?

If your BMI is 35 or above at booking, you will be offered an appointment with the specialist midwife in our lifestyle clinic.  Your healthcare professionals will not judge you for being overweight and will give you all the support that you need.  The appointment will be about the extra care and surveillance you will be offered in this pregnancy. 

You will also be referred to a consultant obstetrician, as well as receiving continuing support from the lifestyle midwife to try to help minimize the risk of complications in this and any future pregnancy.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists offer advice and information here on the subject of why your weight matters during pregnancy and after birth.



Frequently asked questions

Q. I'm overweight and worried how this might affect my pregnancy.  Should I go on a diet?

A. Dieting or losing weight during pregnancy is not recommended as it may harm your unborn baby. But if you are overweight or obese and pregnant, making healthy changes to your diet can help you not to gain any weight, and you might even lose a small amount. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says that this is not harmful.

The most important thing is to keep your weight gain to a safe and healthy level for you and your baby. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you're worried about how much weight you should be putting on and they will be able to advise and reassure you about what is right for you. If your BMI was over 35 at booking, you will receive extra care and support during your pregnancy through our Pregnancy Lifestyle clinic.

Q. My BMI at booking was over 30.  What dose of folic acid should I take?

A.  Folic acid is important for pregnancy as it can help prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, which can cause conditions such as spina bifida.  The following are reasons you may need to take the larger dose (5 milligrams) of folic acid:

  • you have a raised BMI of over 30
  • you have had a baby with spina bifida
  • you have diabetes
  • you are taking medicine for epilepsy
  • you have coeliac disease

Please contact your GP as this dose is only available on prescription