Woman told she cannot conceive because she is too fat loses 11 stone to have baby girl


Last updated at 17:46 07 January 2008

At 23 stone, Nichola Wallace thought her chance of motherhood had gone with all the chocolate bars she had munched.

The 29-year-old financial underwriter was told she was infertile and could not have IVF treatment because of her size.

But she vowed to change her life and took the drastic step of having a gastric bypass operation.

Over the next 18 months, she shed almost half her bodyweight - 11 stone.

One bump, however, refused to budge.

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nichola wallace

To the astonishment of doctors, Mrs Wallace discovered she was pregnant, and daughter Alex was born ten days ago weighing a healthy 6lb 4oz.

Doctors described her achievement as an "inspiration" to overweight women who fear their fertility has disappeared along with their waistline.

Before the operation, Mrs Wallace, from Rotherham, had spent years trying

to lose weight with diet plans and prescription slimming medication, but was defeated by her love of chocolate.

She had developed type 2 diabetes and was officially infertile because of her weight.

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nichola wallace

Tests showed she had stopped ovulating and she was denied IVF treatment because her obesity reduced the chances of success and could have put the baby at risk if she did conceive.

The turning point came when a friend was diagnosed with cancer.

"My friend was so brave - she was fighting back in what seemed to be a very bleak situation," said Mrs Wallace.

"I was being pathetic in not losing weight and decided I had to do something about it."

She and her husband Steve, a 37-year-old joiner, took out a loan of almost £11,000 secured on their house to pay for a private gastric bypass operation in August 2006.

It created a small gastric pouch to accept tiny amounts of food, which then bypasses the stomach through a rerouted intestine.

Not only did the surgery cut the amount of food she could physically digest and send the scales plummeting downwards, it also cured her diabetes.

Within three months of the operation at BMI Thornbury Hospital in Sheffield, her blood sugar levels were normal.

After a further three months, tests showed she was ovulating normally and two months after that she was pregnant.

Mrs Wallace can never eat chocolate again, as her tiny stomach pouch will not let her digest it, but says she has no regrets. "We've been so lucky to have Alex. I'm never going back to the way I was."