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Obesity, Labor and birth, Pregnancy, Bariatric surgery



  1. James, Dotti C. PhD, RNC
  2. Maher, Mary Ann BSN, RNC


This article describes the special care needed by the pregnant woman who is extremely obese. Many pregnant women who are extremely obese have underlying medical conditions, and a multidisciplinary, coordinated approach to their care involving anesthesia providers, physicians, and the nursing staff is needed to develop a detailed plan for vaginal and cesarean births. Such an approach, begun preconceptionally or during pregnancy, can enable care to be delivered smoothly and safely and should include an evaluation of the unit's equipment and furniture to determine if they are appropriate for obese persons. Equipment that should be evaluated for size and weight limits include beds, operating room tables, commodes, wheelchairs, scales, walkers, blood pressure cuffs, transfer devices, and intermittent pneumatic compression devices.