Clinical Edge

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Maternal Obesity & Cesarean Delivery Risks

Am J Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2017 Feb 13; Smid, et al

Women who are maternally obese have greater risk for post-cesarean complications compared with non-obese women; however, the risk of intraoperative complication does not appear to be increased in obese women, a recent study found. This secondary analysis included 51, 218 women who underwent cesarean delivery. Researchers found:

  • 38% of women had body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-29.9 kg/m2; 47% BMI 30-39.9 kg/m2; 12% BMI 40-49.9 kg/m2, and 3% had BMI ≥50 kg/m2.
  • In fully adjusted model 2, women with BMI 40-49.9 kg/m2 had a lower risk of any intraoperative complication compared to women with BMI 18.5-29.9 kg/m2.
  • Women with BMI 30-39.9 kg/m2 had a similar risk of any intraoperative complication compared to non-obese women.
  • There was no increased risk of intraoperative complication among super obese women compared to non-obese women.


Smid MC, Vladutiu CJ, Dotters-Katz S, Boggess KA, Manuck TA, Stamilio DM. Maternal obesity and major intraoperative complications during cesarean delivery. [Published online ahead of print February 13, 2017]. Am J Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2017.02.011.