Objective: To determine the effect of pregravid weight and pregnancy weight gain on pregnancy outcomes in Cree women.
Methods: We reviewed maternal and infant outcomes of the first pregnancy in Cree women living in James Bay, Quebec, from 1994 to 2000. We examined data from women who had a full-term singleton birth and a maternal pregravid body mass index (BMI) > or = 18.5 kg/m2 and whose weight had been recorded in the first trimester and within one month prior to delivery. Weight in the first trimester was used to estimate pregravid BMI.
Results: Data were available for 603 women. At the beginning of pregnancy, 23.1% of the women had normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m2), 27.9% were overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m2), and 49.1% were obese (BMI > or = 30 kg/m2). Nearly one-half of the women gained excessive weight in pregnancy. Adverse outcomes were less common in women with a normal pregravid BMI than in women with a pregravid BMI in the overweight or obese range. Obese women with excessive weight gain had a higher prevalence of preeclampsia (14.9%) than obese women with low (3.7%) or acceptable (6.3%) weight gain; however, obese women with excessive weight gain had a lower prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus.
Conclusion: Interventions must be developed to prevent pregravid obesity and excessive weight gain in pregnancy in Cree women to improve maternal and fetal outcomes.