Maternal obesity is recognised as a risk factor for complications and adverse outcomes of pregnancy, labour and birth.
As a consequence, UK national clinical guidelines advise that severely obese women should plan birth in an obstetric unit (OU) to reduce these risks.
Recent research on women planning birth in OUs indicates that ‘otherwise healthy’ obese multiparous women may have lower intrapartum-related risks than was previously thought.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that increasing numbers of severely obese women are planning birth in midwifery units.
We do not know how many severely obese women currently start labour care in an AMU in the UK.
There is no evidence on their labour care, complications or maternal and neonatal outcomes on which to base clinical guidelines and AMU admission criteria or to inform clinical practice and women’s decision-making.
To use the UK Midwifery Study System (UKMidSS) to determine the prevalence of severe obesity (BMI>35kg/m2) in women admitted for labour care in AMUs and to describe management and outcomes for these women and their babies compared with other women admitted for labour care
What is the prevalence of severe obesity (BMI>35kg/m2) in women starting labour care in AMUs?
What are the characteristics of severely obese women starting labour care in AMUs?
How is the labour care of severely obese women managed in AMUs?
What are the outcomes for severely obese women starting labour care in AMUs, and their babies, compared with other women starting labour care in AMUs?