Pregnancy Complicated by Obesity: Midwifery Management


  • Cecilia Jevitt CNM, PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Cecilia Jevitt, CNM, PhD, is an associate professor of midwifery and nursing with the University of South Florida Colleges of Nursing and Medicine. She has practiced full-scope midwifery in the Tampa Bay area for more than 25 years. Her research focuses on obesity prevention and management in women's health.
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University of South Florida College of Nursing, MDC Box 22, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612. E-mail:


Obesity-related comorbidities such as gestational diabetes and hypertension have the potential to affect at least 25% of women in the United States. Midwives have been caring for and collaboratively managing these conditions in nonobese women for decades. Prenatal weight gain advice should be based on pregravid body mass index and aim for the lower end of the 1990 Institute of Medicine prenatal weight gain ranges. Obese women may require extra ultrasound and blood glucose testing during pregnancy. Pregnancy complicated by obesity may limit the place and style of birth. Midwives can integrate management techniques into the perinatal care of women whose body mass indices exceed 29 to reduce risk and future disease for mothers and newborns.