Overweight and obesity in Australian mothers: epidemic or endemic?

University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
The Medical journal of Australia (Impact Factor: 2.85). 02/2012; 196(3):184-8. DOI: 10.5694/mja11.11120
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To document temporal trends in maternal overweight and obesity in Australian women and to examine associations with pregnancy outcomes.
Retrospective 12-year cohort study of 75 432 women with singleton pregnancies who had pre-pregnancy height and weight data available and who gave birth in a tertiary referral maternity hospital in Brisbane between January 1998 and December 2009.
Maternal body mass index (BMI); prevalence of overweight and obesity, and pregnancy complications including hypertension, gestational diabetes, caesarean delivery, and perinatal morbidity and mortality.
From 1998 to 2009, class III and class II obesity increased significantly (from 1.2% to 2.0%, and 2.5% to 3.2%, respectively), while the proportions of underweight women and those with class I obesity fell slightly (from 7.9% to 7.4%, and 7.7% to 7.5%, respectively). Increasing maternal BMI was associated with many adverse pregnancy outcomes, including hypertension in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, caesarean delivery, perinatal mortality (stillbirth and neonatal death), babies who were large for gestational age, and neonatal morbidities including hypoglycaemia, jaundice, respiratory distress and the need for neonatal intensive care (P < 0.001 for all). Most associations remained significant after adjusting for maternal age, parity, insurance status, smoking status, ethnicity and year of the birth. The frequency of congenital anomalies was not associated with maternal BMI (P = 0.71).
Maternal overweight and obesity are endemic challenges for Australian obstetric care and are associated with serious maternal and neonatal complications, including perinatal mortality.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper reports secular trends in diabetes in pregnancy in Victoria, Australia and examines the effect of including or excluding women with pre-existing diabetes on gestational diabetes (GDM) prevalence estimates.
    BMJ Open 11/2014; 4(11):e005394. DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005394 · 2.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Obstetric ultrasound has come to play a significant role in obstetrics since its introduction in clinical care. Today, most pregnant women in the developed world are exposed to obstetric ultrasound examinations, and there is no doubt that the advantages of obstetric ultrasound technique have led to improvements in pregnancy outcomes. However, at the same time, the increasing use has also raised many ethical challenges. This study aimed to explore obstetricians' experiences of the significance of obstetric ultrasound for clinical management of complicated pregnancy and their perceptions of expectant parents' experiences. Methods A qualitative study was undertaken in November 2012 as part of the CROss-Country Ultrasound Study (CROCUS). Semi-structured individual interviews were held with 14 obstetricians working at two large hospitals in Victoria, Australia. Transcribed data underwent qualitative content analysis. Results An overall theme emerged during the analyses, 'Obstetric ultrasound - a third eye', reflecting the significance and meaning of ultrasound in pregnancy, and the importance of the additional information that ultrasound offers clinicians managing the surveillance of a pregnant woman and her fetus. This theme was built on four categories: I:'Everyday-tool' for pregnancy surveillance, II: Significance for managing complicated pregnancy, III: Differing perspectives on obstetric ultrasound, and IV: Counselling as a balancing act. In summary, the obstetricians viewed obstetric ultrasound as an invaluable tool in their everyday practice. More importantly however, the findings emphasise some of the clinical dilemmas that occur due to its use: the obstetricians' and expectant parents' differing perspectives and expectations of obstetric ultrasound examinations, the challenges of uncertain ultrasound findings, and how this information was conveyed and balanced by obstetricians in counselling expectant parents. Conclusions This study highlights a range of previously rarely acknowledged clinical dilemmas that obstetricians face in relation to the use of obstetric ultrasound. Despite being a tool of considerable significance in the surveillance of pregnancy, there are limitations and uncertainties that arise with its use that make counselling expectant parents challenging. Research is needed which further investigates the effects and experiences of the continuing worldwide rapid technical advances in surveillance of pregnancies.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 10/2014; 14(363). DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-14-363 · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Studies assessing maternal dietary intakes and the relationship with birthweight are inconsistent, thus attempting to draw inferences on the role of maternal nutrition in determining the fetal growth trajectory is difficult. The aim of this review is to provide updated evidence from epidemiological and randomized controlled trials on the impact of dietary and supplemental intakes of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, zinc, folate, iron, calcium, and vitamin D, as well as dietary patterns, on infant birthweight. A comprehensive review of the literature was undertaken via the electronic databases Pubmed, Cochrane Library, and Medline. Included articles were those published in English, in scholarly journals, and which provided information about diet and nutrition during pregnancy and infant birthweight. There is insufficient evidence for omega-3 fatty acid supplements' ability to reduce risk of low birthweight (LBW), and more robust evidence from studies supplementing with zinc, calcium, and/or vitamin D needs to be established. Iron supplementation appears to increase birthweight, particularly when there are increases in maternal hemoglobin concentrations in the third trimester. There is limited evidence supporting the use of folic acid supplements to reduce the risk for LBW; however, supplementation may increase birthweight by ~130 g. Consumption of whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean meats throughout pregnancy appears beneficial for appropriate birthweight. Intervention studies with an understanding of optimal dietary patterns may provide promising results for both maternal and perinatal health. Outcomes from these studies will help determine what sort of dietary advice could be promoted to women during pregnancy in order to promote the best health for themselves and their baby.
    Nutrients 01/2014; 7(1):153-178. DOI:10.3390/nu7010153 · 3.15 Impact Factor