A new study to be presented at the Australian and New Zealand College of Anesthetists conference in Perth reveals that pregnant women who are obese have a higher risk of suffering from gestational diabetes and end up needing caesarean section deliveries.
The study included a survey of 370 pregnant Australian women who were classified as extremely morbidly obese with a body mass index of more than 50 and body weight of over 140kgs. The researchers found that more than 38 percent of the group had their labor induced, compared to the general average of 21 percent, while over 52 percent had to undergo caesarean sections compared to 32 percent of other women.
The risk of complications was also higher among the group with gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes being the common complications in extremely morbid obese women.
"Based on this research, we encourage women who are obese to get expert assistance if they are planning a pregnancy, to lose weight beforehand, to limit weight gain during their pregnancy, and to ensure they have access to high-quality care to best manage their pregnancy", lead researcher Dr Nolan McDonnell from King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women said.