Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Bonny Specker


fetal health, maternal health, obesity, pregnancy, prepregnancy obesity, public health


Introduction: Prepregnancy obesity is associated with an increased risk for various adverse outcomes for mother and fetus. These adverse associations exist within the realms of preconception health, prenatal health, birth outcomes, and postnatal health.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study used data from the South Dakota Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (SD PRAMS) survey, which is an ongoing statebased surveillance system of maternal behaviors, attitudes, and experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy. The 2017 and 2018 SD PRAMS sampled a total of 3,805 mothers who were randomly selected from birth certificate records to be representative of all South Dakota women who delivered a live-born infant. Logistic regression was used to determine whether prepregnancy obesity was associated with adverse health conditions after controlling for demographic factors.
Results: Women with prepregnancy obesity, compared to those who did not have obesity, were more likely to report an unintended pregnancy (45% vs. 39%), smoking three months before pregnancy (32% vs. 22%), delayed prenatal care (12% vs. 16%), hypertension during pregnancy (22% vs. 9%), gestational diabetes (19% vs. 8%), depression during pregnancy (21% vs. 14%), C-section delivery (35% vs. 22%), high birth weight (15% vs. 8%), and the infant hospitalized for 3 or more days (41% vs. 30%) (all, p< 0.05). Of women with prepregnancy obesity, 37% had been talked to by health care providers about maintaining a healthy weight the 12 months before pregnancy compared to 13% of women without obesity.
Conclusions: Health care workers should be more intentional about stressing the potential risks of prepregnancy obesity to educate mothers and women of childbearing age.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Obesity in women -- South Dakota.
Pregnancy -- South Dakota.
Prenatal influences -- South Dakota.
Obesity -- Health aspects.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright