Comparison of maternal and perinatal outcomes in women with super obesity based on planned mode of delivery

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Abstract

Background

Currently, little evidence exists to guide mode of delivery in pregnant women with super obesity. There is a trend toward elective caesarean delivery in this population with little evidence of improved maternal or neonatal outcomes.

Aim

Our study compares maternal and neonatal outcomes based on planned mode of delivery and aimed to identify predictors for a successful vaginal delivery.

Materials and Methods

This retrospective observational study explored maternal and neonatal outcomes of women with a body mass index ≥50 who birthed following a singleton pregnancy at ≥36 weeks gestation over a 10 year period at a single centre in Melbourne, Australia. Outcomes between women having a planned vaginal or planned caesarean birth were compared on an intention-to-treat basis, with logistic regression used to determine factors predictive of a vaginal birth.

Results

A total of 275 women with super obesity were identified. One hundred and ninety-nine (72%) planned a vaginal birth, which was successful for 70%. Planned vaginal birth was associated with lower rates of postpartum complications requiring readmission (5% vs 16%; P = 0.003). Neonatal resuscitation requirements and Apgar scores at five minutes were similar between groups. Multiparity was the strongest predictor of a successful vaginal birth while medical intervention in labour was associated with a reduced rate of success in primiparous women.

Conclusions

Contrary to current trends in practice, a trial of labour for women with super obesity, when facilities and skills permit, appears a safe option for mother and baby.

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