We assessed the impact of a lifestyle modification program (LMP) on weight gain in pregnancy and evaluated its effect on adverse pregnancy outcomes. A prospective matched controlled study design was employed. Inclusion criteria consisted of pregnant women with singleton gestations and body mass index (BMI) > or = 30 without underlying medical conditions. In the study group, patients were prospectively enrolled in the first trimester. Through the LMP, women participated in a comprehensive program on nutrition, exercise, and weight control in pregnancy. The control group consisted of matched patients by starting BMI, parity, and socioeconomic status during the same study period cared for at the same institution. The primary outcome evaluated was weight gain in pregnancy. Adverse pregnancy outcomes including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and various postpartum complications were evaluated between the two groups. Statistical analysis was performed using nonparametric methods, with p < 0.5 considered significant. Twenty-eight patients were recruited for this study and underwent the intervention. Patient compliance with the LMP was 75%, two patients were lost to follow-up, one had a preterm delivery, and four had incomplete data due to various reasons. Twenty-one patients completed their pregnancy and were available for analysis. Twenty matched control patients were identified for analysis. Study participants gained significantly less weight in their pregnancies when compared with controls (mean weight gain 17 versus 34 pounds, respectively; p = 0.008). Secondary outcomes of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, cesarean section, as well as infant birth weight did not significantly differ between the groups. This study suggests an effective method of reducing prenatal weight gain in the obese population. This type of comprehensive intervention could be an important, cost-effective risk-reduction strategy.
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