The impact of maternal obesity on maternal and fetal health

Rev Obstet Gynecol. Fall 2008;1(4):170-8.


The increasing rate of maternal obesity provides a major challenge to obstetric practice. Maternal obesity can result in negative outcomes for both women and fetuses. The maternal risks during pregnancy include gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. The fetus is at risk for stillbirth and congenital anomalies. Obesity in pregnancy can also affect health later in life for both mother and child. For women, these risks include heart disease and hypertension. Children have a risk of future obesity and heart disease. Women and their offspring are at increased risk for diabetes. Obstetrician-gynecologists are well positioned to prevent and treat this epidemic.

Keywords: Birth outcomes; Diabetes; Fetal health; Maternal health; Obesity.