Objective: To minimise obese women's total weight gain during pregnancy to less than 7 kg and to investigate the delivery and neonatal outcome.
Design: A prospective case-control intervention study.
Setting: Antenatal care clinics in the southeast region of Sweden.
Population: One hundred fifty-five pregnant women in an index group and one hundred ninety-three women in a control group.
Methods: An intervention programme with weekly motivational talks and aqua aerobic classes for obese pregnant women.
Main outcome measures: Weight gain in kilograms, delivery and neonatal outcome.
Results: The index group had a significantly lower weight gain during pregnancy compared with the control group (P < 0.001). The women in the index group weighed less at the postnatal check-up compared with the weight registered in early pregnancy (P < 0.001). The percentage of women in the index group who gained less than 7 kg was greater than that of women in the control group who gained less than 7 kg (P= 0.003). The percentage of nulliparous women in this group was greater than that in the control group (P= 0.018). In addition, the women in the index group had a significantly lower body mass index at the postnatal check-up, compared with the control group (P < 0.001). There were no differences between the index group and the control group regarding birthweight, gestational age and mode of delivery.
Conclusion: The intervention programme was effective in controlling weight gain during pregnancy and did not affect delivery or neonatal outcome.