BACKGROUND : Obesity is a serious medical condition affecting more than 30 % of Indiana, and 25 % of Unites States
pregnant women. Obesity is related to maternal complications, and significantly impacts the health of pregnant
women. The objective of this study was to describe the relationship between maternal complications and
pre-pregnancy maternal weight.
METHODS : Using logistic regression models, we analyzed 2008 to 2010 birth certificate data, for 255,773 live births
abstracted from the Indiana Vital Statistics registry. We examined the risk of reproductive factors, obstetrical
complications and perinatal (intrapartum) complications for underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obese
women for this population.
RESULTS : Women who received prenatal care were more likely to be obese [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.82 (1.56–2.13)].
While women with parity of zero (0) were less likely to be obese [AOR = 0.89, 95 % CI (0.86–0.91)]. Women giving birth to
twins [AOR = 1.25, 95 % CI (1.17– 1.33)], women delivering by Caesarian section [AOR = 2.31, 95 % CI ( 2.26–2.37)], and
women who previously had a Caesarian section [AOR = 1.95, 95 % CI (1.88–2.02)] were more likely to be obese. There was
evidence of metabolic like complication in this population, due to obesity. Obesity was significantly associated with
obstetrical conditions of the metabolic syndrome, including pre-pregnancy diabetes, gestational diabetes, pre-pregnancy
hypertension, pregnancy-induced hypertension and eclampsia [AOR = 5.12, 95 % CI (4.47–5.85); AOR = 3.87, 95 % CI
(3.68–4.08); AOR = 7.66, 95 % CI (6.77–8.65); AOR = 3.23, 95 % CI (3.07–3.39); and AOR = 1.77, 95 % CI (1.31–2.40),
respectively. Maternal obesity modestly increased the risk of induction, epidural, post-delivery bleeding, and
prolonged labor [AOR = 1.26, 95 % CI (1.23–1.29); AOR = 1.15, 95 % CI (1.13–1.18); AOR = 1.20, 95 % CI (1.12–1.28);
and AOR = 1.44, 95 % CI (1.30–1.61)], respectively. Obese women were less likely to have blood transfusions [AOR = .74,
95 % CI (0.58–96)], vaginal tears [AOR = 0.51, 95 % CI (0.44–0.59)], or infections [AOR = 86, 95 % CI (0.80–0.93)].
CONCLUSIONS : Our results suggest that maternal obesity in Indiana, like other populations in the USA, is associated with
high risks of maternal complications for pregnant women. Pre-pregnancy obesity prevention efforts should focus on
targeting children, adolescent and young women, if the goal to reduce the risk of maternal complications related to
obesity, is to be reached.