Weight gain greater, less than recommended during pregnancy linked with increased risk of adverse outcomes

June 6, 2017, The JAMA Network Journals
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In an analysis that included more than 1.3 million pregnancies, weight gain during pregnancy that was greater or less than guideline recommendations was associated with a higher risk of adverse outcomes for mothers and infants, compared with weight gain within recommended levels, according to a study published by JAMA.

Body mass index (BMI) and gestational (during pregnancy) gain are increasing globally. In 2009, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) provided specific regarding the ideal gestational weight gain. However, the association between gestational weight gain consistent with the IOM guidelines and pregnancy outcomes is unclear. Rebecca F. Goldstein, M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.P., Helena J. Teede, M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.P., Ph.D., of Monash University, Victoria, Australia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 23 studies (n = 1,309,136 women) to evaluate associations between gestational weight gain above or below the IOM guidelines (gain of 27.6 - 39.7 lbs. for underweight women [BMI less than 18.5]; 25.4 - 35.3 lbs. for normal-weight women [BMI 18.5-24.9]; 15.4 - 24.3 lbs., for overweight women [BMI 25-29.9]; and 11 - 19.8 lbs. for obese women [BMI 30 or greater]) and maternal and infant outcomes.

The researchers found that 47 percent of pregnancies had gestational weight gain greater than IOM recommendations and 23 percent had weight gain less than the recommendations. Gestational weight gain below the recommendations was associated with higher risk of small for (SGA) and preterm birth and lower risk of large for gestational age (LGA) and macrosomia (newborn with an excessive birth weight).

Gestational weight gain above the recommendations was associated with lower risk of SGA and preterm birth and higher risk of LGA, macrosomia and cesarean delivery.

Several limitations of the study are noted in the article, including that it lacks studies from developing countries and excluded non-English-language articles.

The World Health Organization has prioritized achievement of ideal BMI prior to conception and prevention of excess gestational weight gain. The authors write that lifestyle interventions in can help women attain recommended gestational weight gain.

Explore further: Even 'healthy' weight gain raises pregnancy diabetes risk

More information: JAMA (2017). jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/ … .1001/jama.2017.3635

Related Stories

Even 'healthy' weight gain raises pregnancy diabetes risk

April 4, 2017
University of Queensland School of Public Health researcher Akilew Adane said women who gained more than 2.5 per cent of their body weight each year had almost triple the risk of gestational diabetes compared to women who ...

Optimal gestational weight gain in obese moms may vary

January 23, 2015
(HealthDay)—For some obese women, gestational weight gain (GWG) below that recommended in the current guidelines may be advised to reduce the risk of certain adverse pregnancy outcomes, according to research published online ...

Limiting gestational weight gain did not improve pregnancy complications

January 23, 2017
In a study to be presented Thursday, Jan. 26, in the oral plenary session, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, researchers with Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, ...

Unhealthy pregnancy weight gain tips the scales for mothers seven years later

October 22, 2015
Unhealthy weight gain in pregnancy has been linked with postpartum weight retention but until now its long-term effects had been understudied in low-income and minority populations who are at high risk for obesity. For the ...

Many pregnant NZ women are in the dark about healthy weight gain in pregnancy

August 5, 2016
A large proportion of pregnant New Zealand women are at higher risk of poor health outcomes because they don't know how much weight they should be putting on during pregnancy, new University of Otago research suggests.

Pre-pregnancy obesity increases odds of having overweight children

April 25, 2016
A new Kaiser Permanente study, published in Pediatric Obesity, found that pre-pregnancy obesity and excessive weight gain during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of the child becoming overweight at age 2. The ...

Recommended for you

Blood test may identify gestational diabetes risk in first trimester

August 16, 2018
A blood test conducted as early as the 10th week of pregnancy may help identify women at risk for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related condition that poses potentially serious health risks for mothers and infants, according ...

Artificial placenta created in the laboratory

August 14, 2018
In order to better understand important biological membranes, it is necessary to explore new methods. Researchers at Vienna University of Technology (Vienna) have succeeded in creating an artificial placental barrier on a ...

The inequalities of prenatal stress

August 14, 2018
Exposure to an acute stress in utero can have long-term consequences extending into childhood – but only among children in poor households, according to a new Stanford study that looked at the long-term impact of acute, ...

Better studies needed on effectiveness of fertility awareness-based methods for contraception

August 10, 2018
A new systematic review provides the most comprehensive assessment to date on the scientific evidence estimating the effectiveness of various fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) for contraception. "Effectiveness of ...

Inducing labor at 39 weeks reduces likelihood of C-sections

August 8, 2018
Inducing labor in healthy first-time mothers in the 39th week of pregnancy results in lower rates of cesarean sections compared with waiting for labor to begin naturally at full term, according to a multicenter study funded ...

Three-dimensional model of human placenta developed

August 3, 2018
The placenta is the organ connecting mother and embryo. Its main functions are the exchange of nutrients, gases and metabolic products and the production of hormones and other substances essential for embryonic development. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.