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Promoting Vaginal Birth for Those with Obesity; Reducing Iatrogenic Harm


Cecilia Jevitt, PhD, CNM, APRN, FACNM

Speaker Bio

Cecilia Jevitt is the Midwifery Director and a tenured professor in the
Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. From 2013 to
2018, she directed the Yale School of Nursing’s Midwifery and Women’s
Health Nurse Practitioner master’s degree programs. She has done
capacity-building teaching and curriculum consultations in Switzerland,
Laos, China, and Ghana. Jevitt studied midwifery at Emory University. Her
doctorate in applied medical anthropology is from the University of South
Florida. She established USF’s first midwifery practice in 1984 and founded
an academic division of midwifery in 2011 with the USF College of Medicine
while jointly appointed to the Colleges of Nursing and Public Health.

Jevitt is an elected Fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. She
served on both the ACNM and FACNM Boards of Directors. Jevitt was a
Florida Nurses Association Great 100 Nurse in 2009, the 2010 Reviewer of
the Year for the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, the University of
South Florida Department of Anthropology’s Distinguished Alumni in 2012,
and a 2014 Connecticut Nightingale Excellence in Nursing Award winner.
Jevitt has completed research and published in perinatal stressors, anxiety,
grief, and depression. Jevitt’s current scholarship focuses on perinatal
weight gain optimization and integrating obesity management and
prevention into women’s health, especially during pregnancy and lactation.
Her teaching materials and writings about Advantage Counseling are
available without charge at

Course Description

This presentation will provide participants with research evidence to
support holistic assessment of individuals of size and provide supportive
care based on prepregnancy health, not solely body mass index (BMI)
measurement. This presentation will review the definitions of obesity, its
physiology, the multiple environmental and social contributors to obesity,
including systemic racism, and potential effects on perinatal health. A
perinatal adaptation of the Edmonton Obesity Staging System will be used
along with case studies to assess obesity-related risk to plan prenatal
screening needs, place of birth, and prophylactic treatments.Participants
will have practice in case-based assessment related to prepregnancy
obesity that will assist in expanding practices to welcome individuals of size,
reduce unnecessary treatments, and increase their opportunities for vaginal

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Learners will state at least 3 metabolic pathways that are affected by
    obesity and increase risk in perinatal health.
  2. Learners will describe the concept of metabolically healthy obesity.
  3. Learners will use a perinatal adaptation of the Edmonton Obesity Staging
    System to holistically assess obesity-related risk.
CEs Offered: 1 CE

Course expiration: November 14, 2025