Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Ballentine, Hope

Committee Member/Reader

Osborne, Cara

Committee Member/Second Reader

Hentzen, Jane

Committee Member/Third Reader

Patton, Susan


Background:Birth centers are staffed predominantly by midwives and nurses who care for a patient population consisting of low-risk pregnancies. The American Association of Birth Centers requires that the birth center has an agreement with a local hospital to transfer patients if need-be before, during or after delivery in case any complications arise that may result in needing alternative care (Rathbun, 2017). The rate of obesity in the United States has been rising for years. Obesity affects overall health as well as a woman’s pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes. Overall, an obese individual does not prioritize physical exercise and lacks healthy diet practices. These things contribute to a person’s ability to fight illness, complete tasks and conserve energy for strenuous activity such as childbirth (Santos, et al., 2019).Methods: This research project included data from Baby + Co. birthing center in Nashville, Tennessee. The sample population included low risk women seeking care at Baby + Co. from January 2019 through May 2019. I compared the pre-pregnancy BMI to whether or not the woman was transferred to a hospital during labor for pain control. Results: The regression coefficient for maternal age was not significant, indicating that age did not have a significant effect on the odds of observing the Yes category of “Transfer for pain.” The regression coefficient for pre-pregnancy BMI was not significant, indicating that pre-pregnancy BMI did not have a significant effect on the odds of women transferring from a birth center to a hospital for pain. The regression coefficient for pregnancy weight gain was significant, indicating that for a one unit increase in pregnancy weight gain, the odds of observing the Yes category of “Transfer for pain” would increase by approximately 5%. Conclusion: It was found that extra weight gain during pregnancy had a greater effect on pain control than pre-pregnancy BMI. There is still much research to be done regarding BMI and pregnancy weight gain to determine the ideal weight gain for a pregnant woman.


Pre-pregnancy BMI, birth center, pain management