Pregnancy joy for slimmer who lost over 6 stone for IVF

Sarah Burbage is pregnant after losing 6.5 stone to qualify for NHS fertility treatment.

Before and after Sarah Burbage lost 6.5 stone to qualify for fertility treatment on the NHS. She is now six months pregnant and couldn't be happier. - Credit: supplied by Sarah Burbage

A woman who tried for ten years to have a baby has lost six and a half stone to have IVF treatment on the NHS.

Sarah Burbage, 38, from Newtown, Great Yarmouth, took two years to lose the weight and now she and husband Stephen are expecting a little boy in April.

Sarah Burbage lost weight with Slimming World and is now pregnant after qualifying for NHS IVF.

Sarah Burbage weighed over 19 stone and had a BMI of close to 40 which health professionals say increases the chances of miscarriage and complications in pregnancy. - Credit: supplied by Sarah Burbage

The 38-year-old suffered a string of miscarriages and then struggled to conceive.

At 19 stone she was told there was no chance of having IVF on the NHS unless her BMI (body mass index) dipped under 30.

Sarah Burbage loses 6.5 stone to get pregnant with NHS

Sarah Burbage has lost 6.5 stone with Slimming World and was so impressed she has become a consultant herself leading two groups in Newtown, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: supplied by Sarah Burbage

It was then closer to 40 and she needed to lose six and a half stone.

"I have always struggled with my weight since hitting puberty," she said.

"It was one of those things where you think you are going to do something about it but never do.

Sarah Burbage pregnancy joy after weight loss and IVF

Sarah Burbage with husband Stephen. The couple are now expecting their first child in April after Sarah lost an incredible 6.5 stone and had successful fertility treatment through IVF at Bourn Hall, Wymondham. - Credit: suppled by Sarah Burbage

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"I lost a bit of weight with Stephen with Slimming World when we got married in 2015 and then after that it went back on.

"We then found out we had fertility issues.

"We were told we needed to have IVF, but I had to lose six and a half stone. The only thing stopping us was my weight.

Sarah Burbage loses 6.5 stone to qualify for IVF on the NHS and is pregnant.

Sarah Burbage has fallen pregnant with IVF after losing 6.5 stone with Slimming World and is now a consultant herself. - Credit: supplied by Sarah Burbage

"The NHS has a strict BMI policy to give you the best chance of success. There is no leeway.

"But there was nothing I wanted more than a child. I really was determined."

Sarah Burbage has lost weight to qualify for free NHS fertility treatment

Sarah Burbage has lost 6.5 stone with Slimming World and is now six months pregnant after her weight loss meant she qualified for IVF on the NHS. - Credit: supplied by Sarah Burbage

Mrs Burbage re-joined Slimming World and lost the weight through its "syns" programme.

She fell pregnant after the first round of IVF treatment at Bourn Hall in Wymondham and is enjoying "nesting" and decorating the nursery.

"I had not looked after myself at all, it happened over years," she added.

"I was an emotional eater for every emotion. My husband was a chef and he was working crazy hours.

"Cooking for myself I would just turn to convenience food. I just hadn't really concentrated on looking after me.

"But I have really controlled my weight through the pregnancy. I feel healthy and am just so excited."

Sarah Burbage weight loss for NHS IVF with Slimming World

Sarah Burbage said she neglected herself for years before infertility gave her the motivation she needed to lose weight. She has lost 6.5 stone with Slimming World and now runs two evening classes herself. - Credit: Sarah Burbage

She has dropped from a size 24 to a size 14/16 and has become a Slimming World consultant herself.

"Our lives are changed completely and I fell in love with Slimming World," she added.

She now runs two groups at Newtown Methodist Church at 5.30pm and 7pm with 90 members on the books.

Visit Slimming World online to find your nearest group.

Pregnancy and obesity

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists  being overweight or obese increases the risks of complications for both mother and baby.

The higher your BMI, the greater the risks, its website says.

Pregnancy itself increases the risk of developing thrombosis and if you are overweight, the risk of developing thrombosis is further increased.

If your BMI is 30 or above, you are three times more likely to develop gestational diabetes compared with women with a BMI under 25.

Being overweight increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and pre- eclampsia. If you have a BMI of 30 or above, your risk of pre-eclampsia is up to four times higher compared with those with a BMI under 25.

Being overweight also slightly increases your risk of developing mental health problems in pregnancy and after birth.

The risk of miscarriage and still-birth is also increased, as is the risk of defects to the baby's skull or spine.

For help and advice visit www.justonenorfolk.nhs.uk.