Obesity in pregnancy: Altered onset and progression of labour

A.F.L. Bogaerts, I. Witters, B.R.H. Van den Bergh, G. Jans, R. Devlieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background
the incidence of obesity increases in all developed countries to frightful percentages, also in women of reproductive age. Maternal obesity is associated with important obstetrical complications; and this group also exhibits a higher incidence of prolonged pregnancies and labours.
Objective
to review the literature on the pathophysiology of onset and progression of labour in obese woman and translate this knowledge into practical recommendations for clinical management.
Methods
a literature review, in particular a critical summary of research, in order to determine associations, gaps or inconsistencies in this specific but limited body of research.
Findings
the combination of a higher incidence of post-term childbirths and increased inadequate contraction pattern during the first stage of labour suggests an influence of obesity on myometrial activity. A pathophysiologic pathway for altered onset and progression of labour in obese pregnant women is proposed.
Conclusions
analysis of the literature shows that obesity is associated with an increased duration of pregnancy and prolonged duration of first stage of labour.
Implications for practice an adapted clinical approach is suggested in these patients.
Keywords: Obesity, Pregnancy, Onset of labour, Progression of labour
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1313
JournalMidwifery
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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    Bogaerts, A. F. L., Witters, I., Van den Bergh, B. R. H., Jans, G., & Devlieger, R. (2013). Obesity in pregnancy: Altered onset and progression of labour. Midwifery, 29(12), 1303-1313. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2012.12.013