Objective: To characterize the distribution of maternal weight gain in Chinese women living in a well-nourished community, to recommend target weight gains from quartile values derived from women with good pregnancy outcomes, and to quantify the risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes encountered among subjects with weight gain outside these recommendations.
Design: A retrospective study on maternal anthropometry and pregnancy outcomes was conducted among Chinese women who delivered a singleton pregnancy in a university hospital in Hong Kong.
Subjects: Nine hundred eight women who delivered during the study period were identified. Among them, 754 (83%) had complete anthropometry data. The normative distribution of maternal weight gain was derived from 504 women who had a good pregnancy outcome.
Statistics: Analysis of variance was used to compare total weight gain among women of different prepregnancy weight. Fisher exact test was used in the univariate analysis of the association between risk factors and corresponding adverse pregnancy outcomes. Adjusted odds ratios for adverse outcomes were determined by multiple logistic regression models controlling for the following factors: maternal age, duration of gestation, prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), height, parity, and smoking.
Results: A maternal weight-gain chart and recommendations for total weight gains in Chinese women were derived from the distribution of weight gain in subjects with good pregnancy outcomes. The recommended total weight gain was 13 to 16.7 kg, 11 to 16.4 kg, and 7.1 to 14.4 kg respectively for women of low (BMI < 19), moderate (BMI: 19 to 23.5), and high (BMI > 23.5) prepregnancy BMI. Women who did not achieve the lower quartile value had more than twice the risk of having low-birth-weight infants. Those with excessive weight gain were at risk for needing assisted delivery.
Applications: As maternal anthropometry differs across ethnic groups, different recommendations should be made for specific populations.