Body mass index, weight gain during pregnancy and obstetric outcomes

  • VN Addo
Keywords: body mass index, gestational weight gain, obstetric outcomes, neonatal outcomes, Ghana


Objectives: To find out the effects of pregnancy weight gain in different body mass index (BMI) groups on maternal and neonatal outcomes in women delivering singletons at term.
Design: Retrospective analysis of clinical records of patients attending antenatal clinics and delivering in hospital from January 1st 1992 to December 31st 2009. Setting: A private specialist hospital.
Methods: The records of patients starting antenatal care in the first trimester, attending at least four clinics and delivering singletons from 37 completed weeks up to 42 weeks gestation were analysed. Patients’ booking gestational age, height, weight and obstetric and
neonatal outcomes at delivery were noted.
Results: The total number of deliveries was 2,391 out of which 1755 (72.4%) were analysed. The overweight and obese group compared to the normal were significantly older, shorter, weighed more at booking
and gained more weight during pregnancy. The overweight or obese were significantly more likely to have induction of labour and be delivered by caesarean section compared to the normal. Maternal and neonatal
outcomes which were more significant in the overweight and obese were macrosomia, stillbirth, perineal trauma, post-partum haemorrhage and retained placenta.
Conclusions: Most deliveries in the two BMI groups resulted in normal weight babies. Overweight and Obesity is associated with significantly increased incidence of adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes.
It is recommended that further studies involving larger samples comparable to those done in western countries are carried out.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0016-9560