Maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index, fetal growth and neonatal brain development


  • Maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (mpp-BMI) is associated with the regulation of fetal body weight and functional connectivity (FC) of the thalamus in neonates.

Why this matters

  • Higher mpp-BMI is associated with adverse long-term outcomes for offspring, including poorer cognitive and social abilities, increased psychiatric disorder risk and obesity; however, the impact of BMI on fetal growth and brain development is unclear.

  • The association of higher mpp-BMI with fetal growth parameters adds to current clinical understanding of the wider, systemic impact of obesity; and may potentially impact future prenatal care of women with higher BMI, together with postnatal care of their offspring.