Obesity in Pregnancy Decreases VBAC Success

Chances of successful vaginal birth after Caesarean go down as weight goes up

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women who are obese or gain excessive weight are less likely to achieve vaginal birth after Caesarean section (VBAC), according to a study published in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Gabor Juhasz, M.D., of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, and colleagues divided 1,213 patients who attempted VBAC into four groups based on body mass index: underweight (BMI less than 19.8), normal weight (BMI 19.8-26), overweight (BMI 26.1-29) and obese (BMI more than 29).

The VBAC success rate was 77.2% overall, but it was 83.1% in underweight women, 79.9% in normal-weight women, 69.3% in overweight women and 68.2% in obese women. Those who gained excessive weight (more than 40 pounds) were about 40% less likely to achieve VBAC than those who gained less weight in pregnancy.

"Excessive weight gain during pregnancy and obesity both decrease VBAC success," according to the authors.

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