Gynécologie & Obstétrique

Gynécologie & Obstétrique
Libre accès

ISSN: 2161-0932


Knowledge and Perception of Risks and Complications of Maternal Obesity during Pregnancy

Nneka Okezie Okeh, Kristina C Hawkins, William Butler and Abdelmoneim Younis

The goal of this prospective survey study was to assess the knowledge and understanding of the risks of maternal obesity during pregnancy in patients visiting a prenatal Health Clinic at an academic, public medical center located in Macon, Georgia. Demographic information and questions about knowledge and perception of Body Mass Index (BMI) and maternal obesity risks were collected. Responses were scored between 0-100% and categorized to minimal, good and broad knowledge groups. The study population ranged in age from 18 to 69 years and 85.3% of the study participants were African American and 12.7% Caucasian. Most respondents have moderately good knowledge of maternal obesity risk. However, only 40.2% of women were aware of the term BMI, 48% knew goals of weight gain during pregnancy, and 51% were aware that obesity increases the risk of stillbirth. Obese patients were more aware of the risk for pregnancy complications compared to normal and overweight. But only 29.7% of them correctly identified themselves as obese, 53.1% classify themselves as overweight, 15.6% normal and 1.6% report being underweight. Maternal weight, educational status and daily exercise were consistently associated with good and broad knowledge of maternal risks. Overall, most women have limited knowledge of BMI, goals of weight gain during pregnancy and risks of maternal obesity on them and their unborn child. The perception of most overweight and obese women about their current weight was imprecise. Our findings underscore the need for healthcare providers to make pregnant women more aware of the increased risks associated with overweight and obesity.