Antepartum Care of Women Who Are Obese During Pregnancy: Systematic Review of the Current Evidence

Nicole S. Carlson, Sharon Lynn Leslie, Alexis Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Nearly 40% of US women of childbearing age are obese. Obesity during pregnancy is associated with multiple risks for both the woman and fetus, yet clinicians often feel unprepared to provide optimal antepartum care for this group of women. We collected and reviewed current evidence concerning antepartum care of women who are obese during pregnancy. Methods: We conducted a systematic review using PRISMA guidelines. Current evidence relating to the pregnancy care of women with a prepregnancy body mass index of 30kg/m2 or higher was identified using MEDLINE databases via PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science Core Collection between January 2012 and February 2018. Results: A total of 354 records were located after database searches, of which 63 met inclusion criteria. Topic areas for of included studies were: pregnancy risk and outcomes related to obesity, communication between women and health care providers, gestational weight gain and activity/diet, diabetic disorders, hypertensive disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, mental health, pregnancy imaging and measurement, late antepartum care, and preparation for labor and birth. Discussion: Midwives and other health care providers can provide better antepartum care to women who are obese during pregnancy by incorporating evidence from the most current clinical investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Midwifery and Women's Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • antepartum care
  • evidence-based practice
  • obesity
  • person-centered care
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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