The study, published in The Lancet this week, claims that women who gained weight after their first pregnancy are more likely to have a stillborn second child or an infant who will die within the first year after birth.
In England and Wales there were 5 stillbirths per 1,000 live births during 2013, according to the Office of National Statistics.
The study suggests that women who have gained significant weight after their first pregnancy, (a rise in BMI by 4 points) the risk could be 2 more stillbirths per 1,000 in comparison to current statistics.
In response to the research, Director of Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, Louise Silverton said: “We know we must do everything we can to reduce stillbirth and neonatal deaths in the UK. There are many underlying factors that need to be addressed in order to achieve this, education, tackling social exclusion and poverty are vitally important in reducing stillbirth rates.
“We know smoking and obesity can have an impact on stillbirth rates and when the recent MBRRACE report was published, we stressed that there are clearly large numbers of women who should have additional surveillance throughout pregnancy and that includes women who are overweight.
The Swedish medical birth register was used for the research, with scientists taking data on more than 450,000 women who gave birth to their first and second child between 1995 and 2012.
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