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Pregnant women urged to monitor weight after rise in 'Sumo babies' numbers

Midwives have issued an urgent call for mothers-to-be to stop eating for two after noticing a rise in so-called Sumo babies in Scotland.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said a rise in the number of overweight pregnant women in Scotland is leading to more babies being born weighing 10lbs or more.

Official statistics show that 7.1% of babies born in Scotland in 2015 were considered to be "large for gestational age", a slight rise from 7% in 2014.

The Scotsman reported that 852 babies weighing more than 10lb were born across the country in 2015 - with the largest weighing 13lb 1oz.

Gillian Smith, the RCM's director for Scotland, said: "Obesity can increase the long term health risks to mother and baby.

"The RCM encourages mothers to manage their weight before, during and after pregnancy.

"After the birth midwives work hard to support mothers to lose weight over a reasonable time period so they can achieve an ideal weight.

"In Scotland there has generally been a rise in big babies and there is no doubt that the rate of Caesarean sections is also increasing. Unfortunately having a C-section can set a precedent for future pregnancies.

"Obesity during pregnancy is a challenge and there is a immediate need for a greater priority to be placed on health promotion including better information, education and support for women and their families, about the benefits of healthy eating before and during pregnancy, and taking appropriate exercise."

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