Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Obesity raises the chances of complications and medical interventions in childbirth. But a new study by Oxford University shows the risks are not the same for all obese women.

For otherwise healthy women, the increase in risk with obesity may not be as great as previously suspected.

'The increased risk was fairly modest for obese women who did not have conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or a previous caesarean section, and the risks were quite low if the woman had given birth previously,' said lead researcher Dr Jennifer Hollowell of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University.

'It is important to appreciate that we are not saying that obesity isn't important or that obesity doesn't increase a woman's risks during pregnancy,' she added. 'We found that around half of very obese women giving birth in obstetric units have medical problems or pregnancy complications when admitted. But our study focused on women who were obese but otherwise healthy when they went into labour, and some of them had much lower risks than might have been expected.'

Read more (Oxford University News)

Similar stories

Oxford spinout Optellum secures $14m funding to advance pioneering AI-powered lung cancer diagnosis technology

Optellum, a University of Oxford spinout that provides a breakthrough AI platform to diagnose and treat early-stage lung cancer, has raised $14 million in a Series A funding round.

New study shows higher rate of fractures in people with intellectual disability

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers at the University of Oxford and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust found a substantially higher rate of fractures in people with intellectual disability compared with people of the same age and gender without an intellectual disability.

New evidence for how our brains handle surprise

A new study from the Bruno Group is challenging our perceptions of how the different regions of the cerebral cortex function. A group of ‘quiet’ cells in the somatosensory cortex that rarely respond to touch have been found to react mainly to surprising circumstances. The results suggest their function is not necessarily driven by touch, but may indicate an important and previously unidentified role across all the major cortices.

Language learning difficulties in children linked to brain differences

A new study using MRI has revealed structural brain changes in children with developmental language disorder (DLD), a common but under-recognised difficulty in language learning. Children with DLD aged 10-15 showed reduced levels of myelin in areas of the brain associated with speaking and listening to others, and areas involved in learning new skills. This finding is a significant advance in our understanding of DLD and these brain differences may explain the poorer language outcomes in this group.

New research reveals relationship between particular brain circuits and different aspects of mental wellbeing

Researchers at the University of Oxford have uncovered previously unknown details about how changes in the brain contribute to changes in wellbeing.