Assessment of the Institute of Medicine recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy: Florida, 2004-2007

Matern Child Health J. 2011 Apr;15(3):289-301. doi: 10.1007/s10995-010-0596-5.


We investigated the association between 2009 IOM recommendations and adverse infant outcomes by maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI). Birth outcomes for 570,672 women aged 18-40 years with a singleton full-term live-birth were assessed using 2004-2007 Florida live-birth certificates. Outcomes included large-for-gestational-age (LGA) and small-for-gestational-age (SGA). Associations between gestational weight change and outcomes were assessed for 10 BMI groups by calculating proportions, and logistic regression modeling was used to produce adjusted odds ratios (aORs) to account for the effect of confounders. We created comparison categories below and above recommendations using 2009 IOM recommendations as a reference. Of importance, 41.6% of women began pregnancy as overweight and obese and 51.2% gained weight excessively during pregnancy on the basis of 2009 IOM recommendations. Proportions of LGA were higher among obese women and increased with higher weight gain. Compared with recommended weight gain, aORs for LGA were lower with less than recommended gain (aOR range: 0.27-0.77) and higher with more than recommended gain (aOR range: 1.27-5.99). However, SGA was less prevalent among obese women, and the proportion of SGA by BMI was similar with higher weight gain. Gain less than recommended was associated with increased odds of SGA (aOR range: 1.11-2.97), and gain greater than recommended was associated with decreased odds of SGA (aOR range: 0.38-0.83). Gestational weight gain influenced the risk for LGA and SGA in opposite directions. Minimal weight gain or weight loss lowered risk for LGA among obese women. Compared with 1990 IOM recommendations, 2009 recommendations include weight gain ranges that are associated with lower risk of LGA and higher risk of SGA. Awareness of these tradeoffs may assist with clinical implementation of the 2009 IOM gestational weight gain recommendations. However, our results did not consider other maternal and infant outcomes related to gestational weight gain; therefore, the findings should be interpreted with caution.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Gestational Age
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, U.S., Health and Medicine Division
  • Odds Ratio
  • Population Surveillance
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Weight Gain / physiology*
  • Young Adult