Obese women, on average, give birth to babies with high fat mass. Placental lipid metabolism alters fetal lipid delivery, potentially moderating neonatal adiposity, yet how it is affected by maternal obesity is poorly understood. We hypothesized that fatty acid (FA) accumulation (esterification) is higher, and FA oxidation (FAO) is lower, in placentas from obese, compared to lean women. We assessed acylcarnitine profiles (lipid oxidation intermediates) in mother-baby-placenta triads, in addition to lipid content, and mRNA/protein expression of key regulators of FA metabolism pathways, in placentas of lean and obese women with normal glucose tolerance recruited at scheduled term Cesarean delivery. In isolated trophoblasts, we measured [3H]-palmitate metabolism. Placentas of obese women had 17.5% (95% CI: 6.1, 28.7%) more lipid than placentas of lean women, and higher mRNA and protein expression of FA esterification regulators (e.g, PPARγ, ACC, SCD1 and DGAT1). [3H]-palmitate esterification rates were increased in trophoblasts from obese compared with lean women. Placentas of obese women had fewer mitochondria and a lower concentration of acylcarnitines, suggesting a decrease in mitochondrial FAO capacity. Conversely, peroxisomal FAO was greater in placentas of obese women. Altogether, these changes in placental lipid metabolism may serve to limit the amount of maternal lipid transferred to the fetus, restraining excess fetal adiposity in this population of glucose-tolerant women.