Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Severely obese women may need to gain less weight during pregnancy

Date:
February 14, 2011
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Extremely obese women may not need to gain as much weight during pregnancy as current guidelines suggest, according to a new study. Severely obese women who gained less than the recommended amount of weight during the second and third trimester suffered no ill effects, nor did their babies. In contrast, obese and non-obese women who gained less weight had undesirable outcomes.

Extremely obese women may not need to gain as much weight during pregnancy as current guidelines suggest, according to a new study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine annual meeting.

Severely obese women who gained less than the recommended amount of weight during the second and third trimester of pregnancy suffered no ill effects, nor did their babies. In contrast, obese and non-obese women who gained less weight in the second and third trimester had undesirable outcomes, including a higher likelihood of delivering a baby that is small for gestational age -- smaller than the usual weight for the number of weeks of pregnancy.

"The study suggests that even the recommended amounts of weight gain might be more than is needed for the most obese women," said Eva Pressman, M.D., director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

In 2009, the Institute of Medicine released new guidelines for how much weight a woman should gain during pregnancy, taking into account changes in the population, particularly the increase in the number of women of childbearing age who are overweight and obese.

"At some point, there may be even more tailored guidelines than what exists right now for women with different levels of obesity," said Danielle Durie, M.D., M.P.H, lead study author from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical Center.

The study sought to determine the impact of weight gain outside recommended ranges during the second and third trimester of pregnancy on women and their babies. Women were grouped according to pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) as underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese classes I, II, and III. Obese classes II and III include women considered severely and morbidly obese.

Gaining less weight than recommended in the second and third trimester was associated with increased likelihood of having a baby that is small for gestational age in all BMI groups except obese class II and III. Gaining more weight than recommended in the second and third trimester was associated with increased likelihood of having a baby that is large for gestational age in all BMI groups.

Newborns that are very large or very small may experience problems during delivery and afterwards. Small babies may have decreased oxygen levels, low blood sugar and difficulty maintaining a normal body temperature. Large babies often make delivery more difficult and may result in the need for a cesarean delivery, which increases the risk of infection, respiratory complications, the need for additional surgeries and results in longer recovery times for the mother.

In addition to weight gain rates outside the recommended ranges, increasing BMI alone was associated with negative outcomes for mothers and newborns as well. For all BMI groups above normal weight, the likelihood of cesarean delivery, induction of labor and gestational diabetes increased.

The study included 73,977 women who gave birth to a single child in the Finger Lakes Region of New York between January 2004 and December 2008. Of the study participants, 4 percent were underweight, 48 percent normal weight, 24 percent overweight and 24 percent obese (13 percent class I, 6 percent class II and 5 percent class III).

Researchers from Rochester also reported that overweight and obese women undergoing labor induction may benefit from higher doses of oxytocin, a medication used to induce labor by causing contractions. They tested the effectiveness of two oxytocin protocols -- one including a lower dose every 45 minutes and another using a slightly higher dose every half hour -- in women based on BMI.

Overweight and obese women administered the lower, less frequent dose were less likely to deliver vaginally -- the preferred method of delivery -- than overweight and obese women administered the higher, more frequent dose.

"If you give more oxytocin to overweight and obese patients they may be more likely to delivery vaginally, which is what we want, as opposed to having a cesarean section, which can introduce more complications," according to Pressman, an author of the study. "The study is important because the effect of BMI on induction has not been well described before."

The oxytocin protocols tested in the study are relatively standard and were used to induce labor in nearly 500 women who delivered at the University of Rochester Medical Center between October 2007 and September 2008. Study participants were induced for a variety of reasons, including going a week or more past the estimated due date, when there is no longer any benefit to the fetus from remaining inside the womb.

In addition to Pressman and Durie, David Hackney, M.D., and Nigel Campbell, M.D., also participated in the oxytocin research. Christopher Glantz, M.D., M.P.H, and Loralei Thornburg, M.D., contributed to the research on weight gain during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Both studies were funded by the University of Rochester Medical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Severely obese women may need to gain less weight during pregnancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110212094611.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2011, February 14). Severely obese women may need to gain less weight during pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110212094611.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Severely obese women may need to gain less weight during pregnancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110212094611.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins