Completed Studies and Key Discoveries

SCOPE: Obesity and birth outcome

Factors which modify the influence of obesity on birth outcomes: SCOPE

Project lead: Elaine Fyfe, University of Auckland

The objective of this study was to estimate whether caesarean delivery rates were increased in first and second stage of labor in overweight (BMI 25-29.9) and obese (BMI >30 kg/m2) women and whether being overweight or obese was an independent risk factor for caesarean delivery in women recruited to the SCOPE study in Auckland and Adelaide (n=2629). This study showed that among nulliparous women in labor at term, being overweight or obese is an independent risk factor for caesarean delivery in the first stage of labour but not the second stage of labour. Our findings suggest that labor dysfunction in overweight and obese women predominantly occurs in the first stage of labour. The relevance to clinical care is that once obese nulliparous women progress to the second stage of labor, they are just a likely to birth vaginally as women with a normal BMIs.

This study is published online