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BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2011 Sep 6;11:62. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-11-62.

Associations of maternal pre-pregnancy obesity and excess pregnancy weight gains with adverse pregnancy outcomes and length of hospital stay.

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  • 1School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. mamun@sph.uq.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is relatively less known whether pre-pregnancy obesity and excess gestational weight gain (GWG) are associated with caesarean delivery, pregnancy complications, preterm birth, birth and placenta weights and increased length of postnatal hospital stay.

METHODS:

We used a population-based cohort of 6632 women who gave birth in Brisbane, Australia, between 1981 and 1983. The independent associations of pre-pregnancy obesity, GWG and institute of medicine (IOM) categories of combined pre-pregnancy BMI and GWG with outcomes were examined using multivariable regression (for continuous outcomes) and multivariable multinomial regression (for categorical outcomes) models.

RESULTS:

We found women who were obese prior to pregnancy and women who gained excess weight during pregnancy were at greater risk for a pregnancy complications (OR: 2.10; 1.74, 2.54; age adjusted model), caesarean section (OR 1.29; 1.09, 1.54), higher birth weight difference (206.45 gm; 178.82, 234.08) and greater placental weight difference (41.16 gm; 33.83, 48.49) and longer length of hospital stay. We also found that mothers who gained inadequate weight or were underweight before pregnancy were at greater risk of preterm birth (2.27; 1.71, 3.00), lower risk of pregnancy complications (0.58; 0.44, 0.77) and had lower birth (-190.63;-221.05,-160.20) and placental (-37.16; -45.23,-29.09) weights. Results indicate that all associations remain consistent after adjustment for a range of potential confounding factors with the exception of the association between pre-pregnancy obesity and hospital stay.

CONCLUSIONS:

Pre-pregnancy obesity or excessive GWG are associated with greater risk of pregnancy complications, caesarean delivery and greater birth and placenta weight. Excess GWG is associated with a longer stay in hospital after delivery, independent of pre-pregnancy BMI, pregnancy complications and caesarean delivery. In addition to pre-pregnancy obesity, it is vital that clinical practice considers excess GWG as another indicator of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

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