The study which researched over 38,000 women over the course of four years, from 2009 to 2013, showed that obese women had an increased risk of delivering their babies before term.
The study was led by Professor Michael Turner from the UCD Centre for Human Reproduction at Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital. This is the first time a definitive link between obesity and premature delivery has been made in Ireland.
“One in six women are obese. Obesity is modifiable before you become pregnant so it another reason why women should avoid becoming obese before pregnancy and between pregnancies.”
The study found that severe obesity increased the risk of spontaneous early delivery and elective early delivery one and a half times in pregnancies.
A preterm delivery is defined as being anytime before 37 weeks of gestation.
Of the 39528 deliveries in the Coombe from the start of 2009 to the end of 2013, 94% were to term with 5.9% classed as preterm or premature.
Of the preterm deliveries, 209 or 9% were extremely premature and born at less than 28 weeks into the pregnancy.
The report also found that when compared with women who delivered at term, women with premature births were more likely to be non-European, over the age of 35 years, unemployed, first-time mothers, had fertility treatments, or irregular attendance to prenatal care.
Originally posted 2017-11-16 13:05:20.