17 Citations (Scopus)


Recent years have witnessed a rise in maternal obesity, which is independently associated with an increased risk of stillbirth. The pathophysiology is unclear, but it is likely related to abnormal placental function, and inflammatory, metabolic and hormonal imbalances in the mother. Obesity is associated with conditions such as diabetes, which can also cause stillbirth. In order to reduce the risk of obesity-associated stillbirth, women of reproductive age should be actively encouraged to optimise their pre-pregnancy weight as the safety of weight loss interventions during pregnancy is unproven. Obese and extremely obese women should be treated as high-risk obstetric patients, with increased antenatal surveillance and specialist input. The postnatal period may be a useful time to provide weight management advice to women to prevent interpregnancy weight gain and reduce the risk of stillbirth in subsequent pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-426
Number of pages12
JournalBest Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Issue number3
Early online date16 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Thank you to Margery Heath for secretarial support.


  • Stillbirth
  • intrauterine death
  • late foetal death
  • obesity
  • overweight


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