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Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2015 Apr;29(3):438-48. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2014.10.009. Epub 2014 Nov 1.

Impact of maternal obesity on perinatal and childhood outcomes.

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ST7 Obstetrics and Gynaecology Speciality Doctor, Wishaw General Hospital, Lanarkshire, Glasgow, UK. Electronic address:
Professor of Metabolic Medicine, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, RC214 Level C2, Institute of C&MS, BHF GCRC, Glasgow G12 8TA, UK. Electronic address:
Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Women and Children, Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert, UK. Electronic address:


Maternal obesity is of major consequence, affecting every aspect of maternity care including both short- and long-term effects on the health of the offspring. Obese mothers are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, potentially exposing the foetus to an adverse intrauterine environment. Maternal obesity is linked to foetal macrosomia, resulting in increased neonatal and maternal morbidity. Foetal macrosomia is a result of a change in body composition in the neonate with an increase in both percentage fat and fat mass. Maternal obesity and gestational weight gain are associated with childhood obesity, and this effect extends into adulthood. Childhood obesity in turn increases chances of later life obesity, thus type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in the offspring. Further clinical trials of lifestyle and, potentially, pharmacological interventions in obese pregnant women are required to determine whether short- and long-term adverse effects for the mother and child can be reduced.


gestational diabetes; macrosomia; metabolic syndrome; obesity; offspring; pregnancy

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