Pre-pregnancy body mass index and weight gain during pregnancy: relations with gestational diabetes and hypertension, and birth outcomes

Matern Child Health J. 2012 Feb;16(2):355-63. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0741-9.


To study the relationship between pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and weight gain during pregnancy with pregnancy and birth outcomes, with a focus on gestational diabetes and hypertension and their role in the association with fetal growth. We studied 1,884 mothers and offspring from the Eden mother-child cohort. Weight before pregnancy (W1) and weight after delivery (W2) were collected and we calculated BMI and net gestational weight gain (netGWG = (W2 - W1)/(weeks of gestation)). Gestational diabetes, hypertension gestational age and birth weight were collected. We used multivariate linear or logistic models to study the association between BMI, netGWG and pregnancy and birth outcomes, adjusting for center, maternal age and height, parity and average number of cigarettes smoked per day during pregnancy. High BMI was more strongly related to the risk of giving birth to a large-for-gestational-age (LGA) baby than high netGWG (odds ratio OR [95% CI] of 3.23 [1.86-5.60] and 1.61 [0.91-2.85], respectively). However, after excluding mothers with gestational diabetes or hypertension the ORs for LGA, respectively weakened (OR 2.57 [1.29-5.13]) for obese women and strengthened for high netGWG (OR 2.08 [1.14-3.80]). Low in comparison to normal netGWG had an OR of 2.18 [1.20-3.99] for pre-term birth, which became stronger after accounting for blood pressure and glucose disorders (OR 2.70 [1.37-5.34]). Higher net gestational weight gain was significantly associated with an increased risk of LGA only after accounting for blood pressure and glucose disorders. High gestational weight gain should not be neglected in regard to risk of LGA in women without apparent risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight / physiology
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia / etiology
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Maternal Age
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Gain / physiology*