Association of maternal gestational weight gain with short- and long-term maternal and child health outcomes

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Jun;202(6):574.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.12.007. Epub 2010 Feb 4.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between gestational weight gain (GWG) and small- and large-for-gestational-age (SGA, LGA), cesarean delivery, child overweight, and maternal postpartum weight retention in a diverse sample of women in the Unites States.

Study design: We estimated associations between GWG (continuous and within categories defined by the Institute of Medicine), maternal prepregnancy body mass index, and each outcome in 4496 births in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, which was a prospective cohort.

Results: GWG (kilograms) was associated with decreased risk of SGA and increased risk of LGA, cesarean delivery, postpartum weight retention, and child overweight independent of maternal demographic and pregnancy characteristics. Gain above the Institute of Medicine guidelines was associated with decreased risk of SGA and increased risk of all other outcomes.

Conclusion: Excessive gain may have long-term consequences for maternal and child body size, but the benefits of lower gain must be balanced against risk of SGA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Patient Selection
  • Pregnancy
  • Weight Gain / physiology*