A prospective observational study on obesity related maternal and fetal complications at government headquarters hospital, Cuddalore

Raja Chella Sethupathy, Kala Rathinasabapathy, Kumar Apparu


Background: The magnitude of the obesity prevalence has been increasing in developed and developing nation. This study was to find out the obesity related maternal and neonatal complications in Cuddalore district.

Methods: This prospective observational COHORT study was carried out among the pregnant women for whom detailed history was obtained with complete general and physical examination. They were followed up to delivery and postpartum until discharge and the outcomes were studied.

Results: The mean body mass index (BMI) of obese women was 32.42 and that of control women was 22.59. Obese women had increased incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus at 2.67%, gestational hypertension in obese group at 10.67%, caesarean delivery at 85.33% and needed induction at 89.33% when compared to control group at 1.33%, 5.33%, 36% and 72% respectively. Obese mothers of caesarean delivery (8%) had a prolonged hospital stay due to wound gaping and wound infections, when compared to mothers of control group (2.67%). Babies of obese mothers (16%) had a prolonged hospital stay due to respiratory distress, neonatal jaundice and macrosomia, when compared to babies of mothers from control group (2.67%). We found that 33.33% of obese women delivered babies of weight 3.5 kg and above, when compared to control group (6.67%) and some needed NICU admission (14.67%).

Conclusions: The study confirmed from the population that obesity during pregnancy has increased number of complications like gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, increased need for cesarean section, large babies needing NICU support.


Obesity in pregnancy, Maternal complications, Neonatal complications

Full Text:



Jameson J, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Jameson LJ. Harrison's principles of internal medicine. 20th Newyork: The McGraw-Hill companies, 2018;2837(2):9781259644030.

Norman SM, Tuuli M. The Effect of Obesity on the first stage of labour. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;120(1):130-5.

Grash JL, Thompson JL, Newton JM, Zhai AW, Osmundson SS. Trial of labour compared with caesarean delivery in superobese women. Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Nov;130(5):994-1000.

Obesity Limits the Normal Cardiovascular and Renal Adaptations of Pregnancy. Cai, Xiaochu. Australia: Monash university. 2016;1-100.

Neill AM, Nelson C. Hazards of assisted conception in women with severe medical disease. Hum Fert. 2001;4;239-45.

Weiss JL, Malone FD, Emig D. Obesity, obstetric complications and cesarean delivery rate- a population-based screening study. Am J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004;190:1091-7.

Castro LC, Avina RL. Maternal Obesity and pregnancy outcomes. Curr opinion Obstet Gynecol. 2002;14:601-6.

O'Brien TE, Ray JG, Wee-Shian C. Maternal body mass index and the risk of Pre-eclampsia:a Systematic overview. Epidemiology. 2003;14(3):368-74.

Cnattinguis S, Bergstrom R, Lipworth L, Kramer MS. Pre-pregnancy weight and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. N Eng J Med. 1998;338(3):147-52.

Ekblad U, Grenman S. Maternal weight, Weight gain during pregnancy and pregnancy outcome. Int J Gynaecol Obstetr. 1992;39(4):277-83.

Heslehurst N, Simpson H, Ells LJ, Rankin J, Wilkinson J, Lang R et al. The Impact of Maternal BMI status on pregnancy outcomes with Immediate short-term obstetric Resource Implications: A Meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2008;9(6):635-83.

Vegel AJ, Bendren DM, Kallies KJ. Impact of obesity on cesarean delivery outcomes. WMJ. 2017; 4(116): 206-9.

Ehrenberg HM, Mercer BM, Catalano PM. The Influence of Obesity and Diabetes on the prevalence of macrosomia. Am J Obstetr Gynecol. 2004;191(3):964-8.

Young B, Drew S, Ibikunle C, Sanni A. Maternal and fetal delivery outcomes in pregnancies following bariatric surgery: a meta-analysis of the literature. Mini-invasive Surg. 2018;2(16).

Heida KY, Franx A, Van Rijn BB, Eijkemanas MJC, Ma Boer J, Monique WM et al. Earlier age of onset of chronic hypertension and type 2 Diabetes Mellitus after a Hypertensive disorder of pregnancy or gestational diabetes mellitus. Hypertension. 2015;66:6.

Padma BK. Maternal and fetal outcome in Obesity complicating pregnancy-A prospective cohort study. 2018. Available at: Accessed on 10 June, 2021.

Marie CI. Maternal morbid obesity and the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Obstet Gynecol. 2004;103(2): 219-24.