Objective: Document weight change trajectories that lead to gestational weight gain or postpartum weight loss outside clinical recommendations established by the Institute of Medicine.
Study design: Women aged 14-25 receiving prenatal care and delivering singleton infants at term (n = 427). Medical record review and 4 structured interviews conducted: second and third trimester, 6- and 12-months postpartum. Longitudinal mixed modeling to evaluate weight change trajectories.
Results: Only 22% of participants gained gestational weight within Institute of Medicine guidelines. There were 62% that exceeded maximum recommendations-more common among those overweight/obese (body mass index ≥25.0; P < .0001). 52% retained ≥10 lb 1-year postpartum. Increased weight gain and retention documented among smokers and women with pregnancy-induced hypertension; breastfeeding promoted postpartum weight loss (all P < .02). Body mass index by race interaction suggested healthier outcomes for Latinas (P = .02).
Conclusion: Excessive pregnancy weight gain and inadequate postpartum weight loss are highly prevalent among young low-income ethnic minority women. Pregnancy and postpartum are critical junctures for weight management interventions.
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