What is the optimal timing of delivery for pregnant women who are overweight?

A new born baby

Data access has been approved for a study which aims to provide evidence-based recommendations for the optimal obstetric management of overweight and obese women.

The project is funded by the SickKids Foundation and led by Dr. Sarka Lisonkova, Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital, and an associate faculty member at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

Determining the optimal timing of delivery at term gestation in high-risk women requires balancing the risks and benefits associated with delivery at early term (37-38 weeks) and late term (39-41 weeks).

“Early term delivery is associated with an increased risk of respiratory distress, while late term delivery is associated with meconium aspiration syndrome, macrosomia, shoulder dystocia, birth injury and stillbirth,” says Dr. Lisonkova. “This risk-benefit equation for determining optimal timing of delivery has not been studied among overweight and obese pregnant women.”

The information generated by the study will help the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Canada (SOGC) to update their clinical practice guidelines regarding the obstetric management of overweight and obese women. Current SOGC recommendations include counselling about pregnancy complications and fetal/infant risks associated with obesity, counselling about weight gain, nutrition and food choices, and antenatal screening.

PopData will link data from the BC Ministry of Health and Perinatal Services BC for the project.