Pre-pregnancy obesity: maternal, neonatal and childhood outcomes

J Neonatal Perinatal Med. 2013;6(3):203-16. doi: 10.3233/NPM-1370313.


Nowadays, obesity rates have an increasing tendency, since the incidence of obesity in both developed and developing countries is still rising over the years. Maternal pre-pregnancy obesity seems to have an influence on both obstetrical and neonatal outcomes. Many researchers have focused on pregnancies of obese nulliparous, non diabetic women as well as on the medical profile of their neonates, with conflicting conclusions. Additionally, several studies have followed these neonates through their childhood and adult life in order to observe them for any occurrence towards specific diseases. In our study, literature was reviewed and results are presented, into two groups. The first group summarizes the correlation of high maternal prepregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI) with the rates of hypertensive disorders, fertility, cesarean section and maternal mortality, while the second group correlates maternal BMI to neonatal Apgar score, neonatal admission to NICU, preterm delivery, congenital defects, birthweight, and weight status after birth, child morbidity, respiratory problems as asthma and children's mortality. Maternal pre-pregnancy obesity tends to have an important negative impact on the above mentioned outcomes. However, further research, in certain fields, needs to be carried out in order to gain a clear image.

Keywords: BMI; Body mass index; complications; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Morbidity*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors