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Maternal obesity, length of gestation, risk of postdates pregnancy and spontaneous onset of labour at term

Authors

  • FC Denison,

    Corresponding author
    1. a Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, Centre for Reproductive Biology, Queen’s Medical Research Institute and b Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UKc Epidemiology and Statistics Core Unit, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UKd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK
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  • a J Price,

    1. a Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, Centre for Reproductive Biology, Queen’s Medical Research Institute and b Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UKc Epidemiology and Statistics Core Unit, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UKd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK
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  • b C Graham,

    1. a Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, Centre for Reproductive Biology, Queen’s Medical Research Institute and b Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UKc Epidemiology and Statistics Core Unit, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UKd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK
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  • c S Wild,

    1. a Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, Centre for Reproductive Biology, Queen’s Medical Research Institute and b Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UKc Epidemiology and Statistics Core Unit, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UKd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK
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  • and b WA Liston d

    1. a Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, Centre for Reproductive Biology, Queen’s Medical Research Institute and b Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UKc Epidemiology and Statistics Core Unit, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UKd Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK
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Dr FC Denison, Division of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, Queen’s Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. Email fiona.denison@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

Objective  To investigate the effect of maternal body mass index (BMI) on postdates pregnancy, length of gestation and likelihood of spontaneous onset of labour at term.

Design  Retrospective cohort study.

Setting  Swedish Medical Birth Register.

Population  A total of 186 087 primiparous women (of whom 143 519 had spontaneous onset of labour at term) who gave birth between 1998 and 2002.

Methods  Mann–Whitney test, one-way analysis of variance, linear regression and single variable logistic regression.

Main outcome measures  Postdates pregnancy (≥294 days or 42+0 weeks), length of gestation and likelihood of spontaneous onset of labour at term.

Results  About 6.8% of pregnancies delivered postdates. Higher maternal BMI (kg/m2) during the first trimester was associated with longer gestation (P < 0.001) as was a greater change in BMI between the first and third trimesters (BMI measured on admission prior to delivery) with mean (SD) gestation at delivery of 280.7 (8.6) and 283.2 (8.6) days for increases in BMI of <2 and ≥10 kg/m2, respectively. Higher BMI during the first trimester was associated with a lower chance of spontaneous onset of labour at term. Compared with BMI 20 to <25 kg/m2, the odds ratios (95% CI) for spontaneous onset of labour at term were 1.21 (1.15–1.27) for BMI of <20 kg/m2, 0.71 (0.69–0.74) for BMI of 25 to <30 kg/m2, 0.57 (0.54–0.60) for BMI of 30 to <35 kg/m2 and 0.43 (0.40–0.47) for BMI of ≥35 kg/m2. Higher BMI during the first trimester (BMI of ≥35 kg/m2 compared with BMI of 20 to <25 kg/m2) was also associated with an increased risk of complications including stillbirth (OR 3.90, 95% CI 2.44–6.22), gestational diabetes (OR 5.61, 95% CI 4.61–6.83) and caesarean section (OR 2.39; 95% CI 2.20–2.59).

Conclusions  Higher maternal BMI in the first trimester and a greater change in BMI during pregnancy were associated with longer gestation and an increased risk of postdates pregnancy. Higher maternal BMI during the first trimester was also associated with decreased likelihood of spontaneous onset of labour at term and increased likelihood of complications.

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