A Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (CEMACH) was conducted in the United Kingdom which pointed towards obesity as a significant cause of maternal deaths.
Statistics of 2003-2005 reveal that more than 50% of the 295 women who died in the course of pregnancy were either overweight or obese. Obesity in pregnant women enhances the risk of death four or five times as compared to a pregnant woman of normal weight.
Experts are extremely concerned with the trend and therefore stress the need for adequate guidance about weight management for pregnant women.
Dr Gwyneth Lewis, CEMACH director and the government's maternity tsar said: "Obese pregnant women are probably at four or five times greater risk of suffering maternal death than a woman of normal weight - and the same for their babies dying."
Nearly 15% of women who had died were grossly obese. It is imperative that women be aware of the risks of obesity during pregnancy, so that they reach a healthy weight even before conception. Obesity can cause a whole lot of medical complications by hiding crucial symptoms.
Frightened by the obvious risks, a pregnant woman exclaimed, "It is really quite scary. You know there are risks, but you don't think of them in terms of fatality - you kind of think it makes the pregnancy harder or you've got more obstacles to overcome. But to hear that it can cost you your life at the end of the day is quite frightening."