Maternal super-obesity

David Hartge*, Juliane Spiegler, Andreas Schroeer, Verena Deckwart, Jan Weichert

*Corresponding author for this work
5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Pregnant women with a body-mass-index (BMI) above 50 are referred to as “super-obese”. For these women adverse pregnancy outcome and a higher risk of fetal congenital defects are major issues. This report focuses on the ratio development of super-obesity in pregnant women, as well as on prenatal ultrasound and pregnancy outcome in the super-obese gravida. Methods: We reviewed data of all women with a BMI above 30 who delivered at our unit in a 15-year period between January 2000 and December 2014. Data of obese but not super-obese mothers were evaluated in comparison. Results: Final evaluation comprised 69/20,711 pregnancies of super-obese mothers. Forty out of 69 women suffered from a preexisting condition requiring medical treatment. Fetal ultrasound evaluation revealed severe congenital defects in four cases. There were no missed and no false positive diagnoses. Elective cesarean section (c-section) took place in 26/69 cases, 21/69 had a secondary c-section. Twenty-two out of 69 women delivered vaginally. Mean gestational age at delivery was 38+6 gestational weeks. Pregnancy was complicated by macrosomia in 17/69 pregnancies. Severe neonatal hypoglycemia occurred in 6/69 cases. The number of deliveries by super-obese mothers showed no marked variation during the study period. In contrast the rate of deliveries by obese, but not super-obese, mothers showed an increase. Conclusions: Maternal super-obesity poses a high-risk situation for mother and child which generally demands a higher amount of perinatal care. The number of deliveries by super-obese mothers remained stable over the study period. Primary c-section was the most frequent mode of delivery. Of the parturients who opted for vaginal delivery nearly half of the deliveries had to be completed by secondary c-section. Over-all peripartal maternal complications did not exceed average.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)987-992
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.05.2016

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Luebeck Integrated Oncology Network (LION)


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