Why obese women feel better about their “big” condition when they are pregnant: A qualitative study performed in Sweden


Overweight and obesity as measured by the body mass index (BMI) is an increasing problem worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO) [1]. Women having a body mass index greater than or equal to30 kg/m2 are considered to be obese and they run a greater risk of complications when they are pregnant. Complications such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, risk of intrauterine fetal death and slower delivery when giving birth to the baby are risks that can affect the well being of the woman and the child. According to the study on the women, the midwife’s most important role when meeting with the pregnant obese woman is to inform them about potential risks during pregnancy. The midwife must withhold judgment. For many women living with obesity means that they are not seen as the person they actually are. Obese women feel that they do not conform to the societal ideal of an attractive woman because of their size and because of other people’s prejudices regarding their obesity. When an obese woman becomes pregnant they may feel more comfortable with their standing in society because there is a happy explanation for the size of their abdomen. They experience that they are happy and proud about their stomach and this gives them a sense of relief and belonging.

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Adolfsson, A. , Andresen, J. and Edgren, K. (2013) Why obese women feel better about their “big” condition when they are pregnant: A qualitative study performed in Sweden. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 3, 544-552. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2013.37098.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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