The effect of maternal obesity on fetal biometry, body composition, and growth velocity

Cecelia M. O’Brien, Jennie Louise, Andrea Deussen, Rosalie Grivell, Jodie M. Dodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The aim of this secondary analysis was to investigate the relationship between maternal body mass index (BMI) and fetal biometry, body composition, and velocity measurements at 28 and 36 weeks gestation. Materials and methods: The current analysis involves 911 overweight or obese women who were randomized to the Standard Care group of the LIMIT randomized trial. Results: The fetus of women with Class 3 obesity (BMI ≥ 40.0) showed the greatest increase in all biometry z-scores, abdominal area (AA), and abdominal fat mass (AFM) compared with women classified as overweight (BMI 25.0–29.9). In women with Class 3 obesity, AA velocity was increased by 0.035 cm2 (0.004, 0.066, p =.029) and the z-score velocity was increased by 0.238 (0.022, 0.453, p =.03). Estimated fetal weight (EFW) velocity for women with Class 3 obesity was higher than that of overweight women by 2.028 g per day (0.861, 3.196, p<.001) and the z-score velocity was also higher by 0.441 per day (0.196, 0.687, p <.001). Conclusions: Maternal obesity is associated with an increase in fetal abdominal circumference, AFM and area along with EFW velocity over time. Women with Class 3 obesity (BMI ≥ 40.0) may represent a higher risk group for perpetuating the intergenerational transmission of obesity to their offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2216-2226
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Adiposity
  • body composition
  • fetal growth
  • obesity
  • pregnancy
  • velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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