The lived experience of staff caring for women in labour who have a BMI ≥40 kg/m2

Sarah Fairbairn, Cath McParlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Obesity is a growing health concern nationally and internationally. During the perinatal period, obesity poses increased risks to both mother and fetus; however, few studies consider the challenges staff caring for these women face.

To explore the lived experience of the staff that provide labour care for women with a BMI≥40 kg/m2.

A qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews with practicing midwives was conducted. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.

A total of five interviews were conducted and seven themes emerged, namely monitoring the fetal heart and mobilisation, assessing labour progress, different to caring for woman with a lower BMI, emotional issues, opinions regarding women's risk perception, addressing the issue of obesity, and education/training.

Further training would guide staff to deliver timely and appropriate information to women, assisting staff caring for women, particularly in labour, to feel more confident when discussing issues surrounding obesity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-385
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021


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