Woman told she was too heavy for NHS fertility treatment lost 3st 7lb and fell pregnant without IVF – Wales Online

A yo-yo dieter who was told she had to lose weight before she could start fertility treatment shed three stone and fell pregnant while waiting for her appointment to discuss IVF.

Now a proud mum to baby George born on Christmas Eve Jennifer Webb, 35, and her husband, Dominic, 33, who works in property maintenance, feared parenthood might be beyond their reach, after she was told to lose weight before she could even try fertility treatment.

Currently on maternity leave, the civil servant, who lives in Ottershaw, Surrey, said: When I didnt fall pregnant, we went to see someone and my husbands tests were all fine but mine werent.

She continued: I wasnt ovulating every month, so the whole thing was upsetting and stressful.

As a woman, you think you are made to be able to make babies and I wasnt sure I would be able to give my husband that.

Then, when the fertility clinic doctor told me that at 38.5 my BMI made me obese and Id need to get it down to 30 before I could start fertility treatment, I was horrified.

At 5ft 7in tall, weighing 17st 7lb and wearing a dress size 18 to 20, Jennifer had a body mass index (BMI) used to gauge a healthy weight, of 38.5, compared to the NHS healthy range of 18.5 to 24.9, meaning she was obese.

She said: Looking back, Id always been a bit bigger than the other girls growing up, but had been in a group of friends where some were skinnier and others werent, so I didnt stand out.

I wasnt bullied or called names or anything, but being bigger did affect my self-confidence and I was never 100 per cent happy with my body.

Jennifer added: There were clothing shops I couldnt shop in and I always dressed to cover up my body, wearing baggy jumpers and T-shirts. Even now, I will only wear a dress that comes below the knee.

Moving into her teens, when Jennifer started spending her school lunch money on fast food, her waistline bore the brunt.

We ate well at home, but I ate rubbish when I was out, she said.

She continued: I would have lunch money but rather than a salad Id go for a sausage roll and chips or burger and chips.

Plus, I went on the Pill and discovered alcohol in my teens and that all adds up.

Jennifer met Dominic on the Plenty of Fish dating app in December 2016, meeting up in person in January 2017 and, after just a year, getting engaged after he proposed on Christmas Eve.

And, after buying a house together, they started trying for a baby.

But when six months passed without any success, Jennifer saw a doctor and blood tests confirmed she had an underactive thyroid and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), both of which can reduce the chances of natural conception.

Putting their plans to start a family on hold to prepare for their wedding in March 2019, more than a year had passed when they decided to start trying again, meaning they qualified for an appointment at an NHS fertility clinic, where Jennifer was identified as having a problem.

Told to reduce her BMI to 30 before she could start fertility treatment, after yo-yo dieting throughout her adult life, she finally knew she had to address her weight once and for all.

In the past, she had tried weight loss clubs like Weight Watchers now WW and Slimming World and would lose weight, only to pile it all back on.

So this time, in January 2020, she tried the Cambridge 1:1 Diet, spending around 68 a week on the programme.

She said: I had a friend at work whose wife had used the Cambridge 1:1 Diet and done so well with it that she went on to become a consultant for them. He had talked a lot about the plan, so I decided to try it.

People have the misconception you only get to eat shakes, but thats not true. I did Step 1, which has food packs that turn into meals like spaghetti Bolognese.

Sure, its strict not allowing you to have anything thats not supplied like alcohol, milk in drinks, diet drinks and even chewing gum.

She added: Some days were harder than others, but, overall, I found it quite easy to stick to, even though my husband was eating normal food.

I kept telling myself I had to lose weight to help my family. I followed the plan for four months and everyone was really supportive. Nobody tried to persuade me to have cheat days, plus I had a real goal which was getting pregnant.

But the results were amazing.

By her third appointment at the fertility clinic in February 2020, while she did not yet have a BMI of 30, she had lost a stone and a half in weight and doctors saw she was serious, so sent her away with fertility drugs to boost ovulation.

Then, three weeks before her next appointment was due, by which time she had lost three and a half stone, helping to regulate her periods, she started to wonder if she was pregnant.

My period was five days late and I was feeling a bit more tired and going to the toilet more than usual, so at 10am on May 5, 2020, we decided to do a pregnancy test, she said.

Jennifer continued: It was the longest three minutes of my life. We both waited outside the bathroom and then went in together to see the results. When we saw it was positive, we both burst into tears.

And she suffered such bad morning sickness for the first few months of her pregnancy that her weight dropped to the lowest she had ever been at 13st 7lb, giving her a BMI of 29.6 and making her a dress size 14.

At 35 weeks, the doctors diagnosed gestational diabetes, causing high blood sugar in pregnancy, which increases the risk of having a bigger than average baby.

It can be controlled by diet so, again, Jennifer was banned from having sugary foods and induced at 39 weeks.

I went to hospital on December 21 and George was born on Christmas Eve, she said.

I didnt know the babys sex until he was born, although I had always felt I was having a boy.

She added: When he was put on my chest, I just burst into tears of joy. It was the happiest day of my life after my wedding day.

Now on maternity leave, and kept busy with looking after little George, Jennifers weight has increased and she is back in her old size 18 clothes but plans to return to the 1:1 Diet in June, and get back into shape.

She said: Having George is the greatest reward ever for losing weight. I came off the diet as Id got pregnant but now its about making those permanent lifestyle changes.

For more details about the Cambridge 1:1 Diet, visit one2onediet.com.

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Woman told she was too heavy for NHS fertility treatment lost 3st 7lb and fell pregnant without IVF - Wales Online

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