Impact of Obesity on Pregnancy and Embryo Development Signals Need for Better Health Education for Women

New research published in the journal Human Reproduction indicates that the embryos of women who are overweight or obese at the time they conceive display distinct differences in early development compared to embryos from women of a healthy weight.

Commenting on the research Janet Fyle, professional policy advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This research supports and reaffirms our advice about the potentially negative effects of obesity on pregnancy and the developing baby.

“Many pregnancies in the UK are unplanned so there is a strong public health message here to be given to women who may be planning to have a baby. It is about the need to ensure women are healthy and not overweight, not just during pregnancy, but before and in their life generally.

“With rapidly increasing levels of obesity in the population this report signals the need for a much stronger focus on better health education for women. This includes early health promoting messages in schools within the Personal, Social and Health Education Curriculum.

“Failing to tackle the causes of obesity has serious consequences for women, families and the population as a whole.”