Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 323–329

Impact of overweight and obesity on obstetric outcomes


    • Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyCatholic University of the Sacred Heart
  • A. Lanzone
    • Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyCatholic University of the Sacred Heart

DOI: 10.1007/s40618-014-0058-9

Cite this article as:
Triunfo, S. & Lanzone, A. J Endocrinol Invest (2014) 37: 323. doi:10.1007/s40618-014-0058-9


Abnormal nutritional status is an increasingly common complication in developed countries and, as reproductive age women are a part of this trend, the effect of maternal obesity on the pregnancy and neonate must be investigated. Pregestational obesity or overweight condition or an excessive gestational weight gain can be an independent risk factor for feto-maternal complications and long-term risks in adult life for the fetus. The selected risks include infertility, miscarriage, congenital anomalies, hypertensive disorders, gestational diabetes, intrauterine fetal death, macrosomia, and delivery complications. From an etiological point of view, the causes of the adverse outcomes include maternal body habitus, proinflammatory state of obesity, and metabolic dysfunction. Actually, a weight management guidance for obese pregnant women is limited, recommending a gain between 5 and 9 kg during the pregnancy period, while weight loss is discouraged. Mainly, therapeutic approach is prevention using specific programs of reducing weight before pregnant status. In addition, mechanistic studies, in animal models especially, have identified potential areas for intervention which might limit adverse risk factors for obesity from mothers to infants during pregnancy. In this article, a review of the literature on selected obstetrical risks associated with maternal overweight and obesity has been performed and both the target prevention and management strategies have been assessed.


OverweightObesityPregnancyAdverse perinatal outcomePrevention

Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2014