More than one half of pregnant women are presently classified as overweight or obese and
8% of reproductive age women are extremely obese. Since 1980, obesity rates have doubled for
adults and tripled for adolescents aged 12-19 years. The sturdy gains in overall health that have been
achieved by Americans since the dawn of the 20th century may be perturbed by the obesogenic
epidemic The aim of this review is to highlight the risks that the high-risk obese parturients encounter
and discuss dietary, medical and surgical options in the care of these patients from pregestational
stages until postpartum. We will review the role of diet, exercise, bariatric surgery, mode of delivery
and regional or general anesthesia, where special concerns are required in the obese gravida.
Keywords: Desirable weight gain, management, obesity, obstetric risks, pregnancy, perinatal risks.
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