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Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Sep;66(3):299-306.

Perinatal problems of the obese mother and her infant.


The health consequences of obesity in adults encompass both metabolic and cardiovascular complications. Pregnancy in obese women also has a particular set of problems. For the obese pregnant woman, these include weight gain less than 5.4 kg, chronic hypertension and superimposed preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, multiple gestation, and the potential for a macrosomic child. The combination of obesity and maternal diabetes does not appear to have an additive effect on the excessive growth of infants of obese mothers. Furthermore, despite inadequate weight gain, hypertension, and multiple gestation, infants of obese mothers are usually born with a greater birth weight than those of nonobese women. In addition, the incidence of intrauterine growth retardation is lower after an obese pregnancy. Neonates born to obese mothers have increased risk for birth asphyxia and birth trauma. Recently infants born to obese women were noted to have transient neonatal fasting asymptomatic hypoglycemia. Hyperinsulinism is not present in the infants of obese mothers; thus, alternate fuel mobilization (free fatty acids, glycerol, ketones) may respond to the hypoglycemic stimulus. Suggestions and rationale for the management of the pregnant obese woman, fetus, and newly born infant are discussed in the text.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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