Maternal obesity 'linked to prolonged gestation'

Women who have a high body mass index during pregnancy are likely to have a longer gestation period, a new study has revealed.

Maternal obesity can also increase the chance of a woman having an induced delivery and experiencing complications during delivery, the UK study published in BJOG found.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust looked at 29,224 deliveries over four years.

Some 30 per cent of obese women were found to have prolonged pregnancies - lasting more than 41 weeks plus three days - compared to 22.3 per cent of normal weight females.

In total, 8,497 of the women had their labour induced - of those, 34.4 per cent were obese and 26.2 per cent were of a normal weight, the study found.

Dr Sarah Arrowsmith, from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Translational Medicine, and lead author on the paper said: "Maternal obesity has become one of the most commonly occurring risk factors in obstetric practice, including greater risk of prolonged pregnancy."

She added: "Induction of labour in obese women with prolonged pregnancy is a safe method for managing these difficult pregnancies."

Recently, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published guidelines encouraging women to maintain a healthy weight during their pregnancy, avoiding the 'eat for two' mentality.

Posted by Carla MackenzieADNFCR-2094-ID-800366340-ADNFCR

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