Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Geneeskunde van België vol:72 issue:5-6 pages:253-76
This PhD thesis indicated by a literature review and a prospective study that maternal obesity is associated with serious complications for both mother and child. This is a problem since already 9% of the pregnant women at the antenatal department of the University Hospital Leuven was obese during 2006. A prospective study with 142 women showed that maternal obesity is also associated with a lower diet quality during pregnancy compared to normal weight pregnant women. To reduce the high prevalence of excessive gestational weight gain among obese pregnant women and to improve their low diet quality, a randomized controlled trial with 2 intervention groups with a different intensity of nutritional guidance was set up. Both interventions improved dietary habits, but affecting physical activity level and gestational weight gain remains a challenge. During this thesis 2 practical tools for all pregnant women and their health care providers were developed: weight gain percentile charts for each body mass index category and a website giving information on nutrition, physical activity, and weight gain during pregnancy. Besides obese pregnant women, pregnant women with a history of bariatric surgery are also a high-risk population. Even though the obesity related pregnancy complications decrease after the surgery induced weight loss, other complications such as internal hernias and nutritional deficiencies with potential lethal consequences have been identified. A multidisciplinary follow-up during pregnancy with routine screening for nutritional deficiencies with attention for the fat-soluble vitamins and patient tailored nutritional supplementation seems required.