Maternal obesity and its association with the mode of delivery and the neonatal outcome in induced labour: Implications for midwifery practice
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Department of Midwifery, Midwifery School, ‘Alexander’ Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, University of Athens, Greece
Publish date: 2018-04-12
Submission date: 2017-10-28
Final revision date: 2018-01-27
Acceptance date: 2018-02-26
Eur J Midwifery 2018;2(April):4
Maternal obesity carries an increased risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. This study investigated whether the body mass index (BMI) of women with induced labour was associated with the mode of delivery and neonatal outcome.

This was a retrospective study of primigravidae women under the age of 40 years who were induced at term for various indications. Data were collected from the electronic database of the Maternity Unit where these women gave birth.

We sampled 1274 women with a mean age of 26.3±5.9 years. The mean BMI at booking was 26.5 kg/m2, with 28.8% being overweight and 24.3% obese. In the sample, 70.4% had a normal vaginal delivery, 15.4% a caesarean section (CS) and 14.2% an instrumental delivery. An increasing BMI was independently associated with the odds for a CS, with women who were overweight and obese having a 1.58 and 2.75 times greater likelihood for a CS. The CS rate was 10.2% in women with a normal BMI, and increased to 15.8% for overweight and 24.9% for obese women (p<0.001). The increasing BMI did not affect the instrumental delivery rates in our cohort. The Apgar scores at one and five minutes were significantly lower in overweight and obese women compared to women with a normal BMI.

We show that an increasing BMI in women with induced labour was associated with increased CS rates and lower Apgar scores. These findings highlight the important role of midwives in engaging women in weight management before they get pregnant.

Angeliki Antonakou   
Department of Midwifery, Midwifery School, ‘Alexander’ Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, PC 57400, Greece.
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