Research Roundup

I’m starting a series of posts about current research around fat studies and/or birth.  I’ll feature the studies I come across along with a summary. 

Feel free to let me know about research you’ve found at: amy@thefatmidwife.com

Fat does not equal high risk pregnancy or birth:

Fat women are often excluded from birth centers because having a BMI over 35 is considered high risk, even if they don’t have complications like gestational diabetes.  This study finds that fat women who have already given birth and don’t have complicationsk (like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, etc) do not have any more risk than thin women pregnant for the first time.
This study concludes that fat women may have lower risk pregnancies than previously assumed, and that BMI by itself is not a reliable condition for exclusion from out of hospital birth options.

Midwifery-led care provides better outcomes for women in a hospital setting:

This review involves over a dozen studies.  It only used studies monitoring midwives that worked within a hospital setting.  These midwives cared for their patients during pregnancy, birth, and provided aftercare.  Compared to regular gynecological care, positive outcomes for mothers included reduced epidural rates, fewer episiotomies, fewer instrumental births, and fewer rates of pre-term birth.  There were no risks or problems seen stemming from the midwifery care. 

Dieting before and during pregnancy  bad for fetal development (in sheep):

This study overfed sheep and then restricted their diets and compared them to controls. They were then put on a controlled diet, and the embryos were transplanted into another sheep after a week of pregnancy.  This was to identify the effect of early weight loss on the embryos, especially their metabolisms. 

I’m intrigued by this study because I am wary of congratulating any woman on losing weight during their pregnancy and this seems to confirm it may have adverse effects. 

However, I’m not completely comfortable with this study, because they artificially fattened up sheep, which already puts stress on the body, and then attributed the fetal differences to the diets.
I think they may have involved too many variables.