Gestational weight gain by body mass index among US women delivering live births, 2004-2005: fueling future obesity

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Mar;200(3):271.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2008.09.879. Epub 2009 Jan 10.


Objective: Current pregnancy weight gain guidelines are based on prepregnancy body mass indices (BMI), but gestational weight gains by BMI class among US women are unknown.

Study design: We assessed the amount of gestational weight gain among 52,988 underweight, normal-weight, overweight, and obese US women who delivered a singleton, full-term infant in 2004-2005. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy was defined as gaining 35 or more pounds for normal-weight and 25 or more pounds for overweight women.

Results: Approximately 40% of normal-weight and 60% of overweight women gained excessive weight during pregnancy. Obese women gained the least, although one-fourth of these women gained 35 or more pounds. Excessive weight gain levels were highest among women aged 19-years-old or younger and those having their first birth.

Conclusion: Excessive gestational weight gains were common, especially among the youngest and those who were nulliparous. These results predict higher obesity levels from pregnancy weight gains among US women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Weight Gain*
  • Young Adult