Overweight women who are pregnant should avoid 'eating for two' and should stick to healthy diet and exercise, a new study has revealed.
Experts have become increasingly concerned in recent years about the growing numbers of mothers-to-be who are overweight and obese at the start of pregnancy, the Daily Express reported.
This gives way to increased risk of complications for both mother and child and also strains the health service owing to the need for specialist equipment.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has issued new guidance, which says that while the majority of women who are overweight (with a body mass index greater than 25) will have a straightforward pregnancy and birth, the risk of complications goes up the heavier a woman is.
Women with a BMI over 35 are required to be under the care of an NHS consultant rather than having straightforward midwifery care, it says.
Women who are overweight or obese are also more vulnerable to having blood clots in the legs and lungs, which can potentially be life threatening.
The risk of diabetes in pregnancy is three times higher in women with a BMI over 30 compared to those who are under 30.
A BMI of 30 or above also augments the risk of developing high blood pressure, while a BMI over 35 doubles the risk of pre-eclampsia.
Obese women also have greater chances of suffering from miscarriage, have problems with the way the baby develops in the womb, have a premature birth, and have the baby's shoulder get stuck during labour.