Open Access Open Badges Research article

Outcome of deliveries in healthy but obese women: obesity and delivery outcome

Rebecka Kaplan-Sturk1, Helena Åkerud2, Helena Volgsten2, Lena Hellström-Westas2 and Eva Wiberg-Itzel1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Science and Education, Section of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Karolinska Institute, Soder Hospital, Stockholm, 118 83, Sweden

2 Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:50  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-50

Published: 6 February 2013



Obesity among fertile women is a global problem. 25% of pregnant Swedish women are overweight at admission to the antenatal clinic and 12% of them are considered as obese. Previous studies have shown an increased risk of delivery complications with an elevated maternal BMI. The aim of this study was to evaluate delivery outcomes in relation to maternal BMI on admission to the antenatal clinic.

A healthy group of 787 women with full-term pregnancies and spontaneous onset of labor were included in the study. Delivery outcome was assessed in relation to maternal BMI when attending the antenatal clinic.


The results indicated that in deliveries where the maternal BMI was

30 a high frequency of abnormal CTG trace during the last 30 minutes of labor was shown. A blood sample for evaluation of risk of fetal hypoxia was performed in only eight percent of these deliveries. A spontaneous vaginal delivery without intervention was noted in 85.7%, and 12% of neonates were delivered with an adverse fetal outcome compared to 2.8% in the group with a maternal BMI<30 (p<0.001).


These results indicate an increased risk at delivery for healthy, but obese women in labor. Furthermore, the delivery management may not always be optimal in these deliveries.

Obesity; Fetal outcome; Delivery outcome