Analysis evaluates neonatal outcomes of pregnancies difficult by maternal weight problems


Weight problems is linked to many antagonistic well being outcomes, together with in being pregnant. Nonetheless, there may be little info on the impact of maternal weight problems on neonatal mortality and sickness.

A current examine revealed within the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medication discusses the affiliation of maternal physique mass index (BMI) in being pregnant with neonatal outcomes. Extra particularly, the researchers have been fascinated with figuring out whether or not maternal weight problems elevated the danger of poor neonatal outcomes, impartial of the presence of pre-existing diabetes and continual hypertension.

Study: Short term neonatal outcomes of pregnancies complicated by maternal obesity. Image Credit: FotoDuets /

Research: Brief-term neonatal outcomes of pregnancies difficult by maternal weight problems. Picture Credit score: FotoDuets /


Maternal weight problems is comparatively widespread in being pregnant, with about one-third of pregnancies in the US difficult by weight problems. Weight problems is linked to maternal hypertension, diabetes, and pre-eclampsia, as it’s a continual inflammatory state.

Throughout being pregnant, overweight moms usually tend to undergo miscarriage and stillbirth, with the infants born to those moms at a larger danger of congenital anomalies, macrosomia, shoulder dystocia, neonatal dying, and meconium aspiration.

The present examine examines how maternal weight problems impacts neonatal well being and mortality. Herein, the scientists used information from a set of singleton deliveries from 24-42 weeks’ gestation in 25 hospitals between 2008-2011.

Maternal BMI was categorized into the reference group of regular/chubby. The experimental teams of overweight (OB), morbidly overweight (MO), and super-morbidly overweight (SMO) have been categorized based mostly on BMI, with values starting from 30-39.9 kg/m2, 40-49.9 kg/m2, and 50 kg/m2 or extra, respectively. Reference BMI values have been between 18.5-29.9 kg/m2.

All sufferers in reference and different teams have been matched for baseline traits comparable to age, race, ethnicity, continual hypertension, diabetes, and former Cesarean part, together with cigarette use and insurance coverage standing.

The scientists assessed neonatal dying, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), respiratory misery syndrome, and different neonatal issues. Preterm supply, outlined as beginning earlier than 37 weeks gestation, in addition to maternal pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, have been additionally included.

What did the examine present?

The present examine included over 52,000 sufferers and their neonates, 42% of whom have been OB, and seven% and 1% have been MO and SMO, respectively. Weight problems was related to pre-existing diabetes, continual hypertension, and cigarette use, rising with BMI, although at a decrease fee in comparison with the reference group.

Hispanics have been overrepresented within the OB group, whereas Black moms have been overrepresented within the MO and SMO teams, which additionally had a better proportion of girls with a historical past of Cesarean part. Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, and Cesarean part have been extra ceaselessly reported as BMI elevated.

Preterm births have been least doubtless within the OB group however elevated from OB to SMO at lower than 37 weeks and fewer than 28 weeks gestation. Delivery weights tended to extend with maternal BMI, with child weights larger than 4 kg extra doubtless in pregnancies in OB, MO, and SMO moms. These infants have been additionally extra prone to have a congenital defect.

The danger of neonatal morbidity elevated by one-third in neonates born to MO moms in comparison with these born to ladies within the reference group. Nonetheless, no such affiliation was noticed for infants born to OB or SMO moms. Pre-existing weight problems and weight problems in early being pregnant would possibly predict an elevated danger of extra vital neonatal morbidity.

What are the implications?

Critical neonatal sicknesses have been increased for infants born to MO moms as in comparison with these within the reference group, even after permitting for the confounding results of maternal diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and preterm supply.

Nonetheless, neonatal deaths didn’t rise in concordance with maternal BMI. Moreover, composite morbidity amongst neonates didn’t enhance with rising BMI, offered the presence of continual hypertension and pre-existing diabetes was accounted for.  

Infants born to MO and SMO moms have been extra prone to weigh greater than 4 kg and have congenital disabilities, corroborating earlier stories. Nonetheless, whereas preterm supply has been beforehand noticed to be extra widespread in infants born to overweight moms, there may be some controversy concerning the validity of this discovering, with the present examine reporting fewer preterm births amongst OB moms. Conversely, the danger of preterm births at lower than 37 weeks and fewer than 28 weeks elevated with rising BMI.

The explanations underlying the elevated short-term neonatal morbidity in infants born to overweight moms stay to be recognized; nevertheless, normalizing the BMI earlier than conception, along with controlling continual hypertension and diabetes, might assist forestall or mitigate the antagonistic influence of weight problems on neonatal outcomes.

Journal reference:

  • Dinsmoor, M. J., Ugwu, L. G., Bailit, J. L., et al. (2023). Brief time period neonatal outcomes of pregnancies difficult by maternal weight problems. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. doi:10.1016/j.ajogmf.2023.100874.
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