Institute of medicine 2009 gestational weight gain guideline knowledge: survey of obstetrics/gynecology and family medicine residents of the United States

Birth. 2013 Dec;40(4):237-46. doi: 10.1111/birt.12061.


Background: In 2009, the Institute of Medicine revised gestational weight gain recommendations; revisions included body mass index (BMI) category cut-point changes and provision of range of gain for obese women. Our objective was to examine resident prenatal caregivers' knowledge of revised guidelines.

Methods: Anonymous electronic survey of obstetrics/gynecology and family medicine residents across the United States from January to April 2010.

Results: Overall, 660 completed the survey; 79 percent female and 69 percent aged between 21 and 30. When permitted to select ≥ 1 response, 87.0 percent reported using BMI to assess weight status at initial visits, 44.4 percent reported using "clinical impression based on patient appearance," and 1.4 percent reported not using any parameters. When asked the most important baseline parameter for providing recommendations, 35.8 percent correctly identified prepregnancy BMI, 2.1 percent reported "I don't provide guidelines," and 4.5 percent reported "I do not discuss gestational weight gain." Among respondents, 57.6 percent reported not being aware of new guidelines. Only 7.6 percent selected correct BMI ranges for each category, and only 5.8 percent selected correct gestational weight gain ranges. Only 2.3 percent correctly identified both BMI cutoffs and recommended gestational weight gain ranges per 2009 guidelines.

Conclusions: Guideline knowledge is the foundation of accurate counseling, yet resident prenatal caregivers were minimally aware of the 2009 Institute of Medicine gestational weight gain guidelines almost a year after their publication.

Keywords: counseling; pregnancy; weight gain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Directive Counseling / standards*
  • Directive Counseling / statistics & numerical data
  • Family Practice / education
  • Family Practice / standards
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Gynecology / education
  • Gynecology / standards
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Male
  • National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, U.S., Health and Medicine Division
  • Obstetrics / education
  • Obstetrics / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / standards*
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Weight Gain*