Prepare, a Randomized Trial to Promote and Evaluate Weight Loss Among Overweight and Obese Women Planning Pregnancy: Study Design and Rationale

Contemp Clin Trials. 2016 Jul;49:174-80. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2016.07.002. Epub 2016 Jul 6.


Background: Women who are overweight or have obesity at pregnancy onset, and those who gain excessive weight during pregnancy, are at increased risk of pregnancy-related complications and large for gestational age infants.

Objective: This report describes methodology for the Prepare study, a randomized, controlled clinical trial testing a preconception and pregnancy weight management program for women who are overweight or have obesity (BMI≥27kg/m(2)).

Outcomes: This trial examines multiple pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, with the primary outcome being gestational weight gain (GWG). Secondary outcomes include change in weight before conception, offspring birth weight adjusted for gestational age, offspring weight for length, and pregnancy diet quality and physical activity level.

Methods: Nonpregnant women who anticipate becoming pregnant in the next 2years are randomly assigned to an intervention program or a usual care control condition. Intervention participants receive weight management counseling by telephone before and during pregnancy, with weekly contacts during the first 6months and monthly contacts for the next 18months. Intervention participants also have unlimited access to a study website that provides self-management tools. All participants who become pregnant are contacted at 20weeks' gestation to assess physical activity levels and dietary habits. All other outcome data are obtained from medical records. Intervention satisfaction is assessed via questionnaire.

Summary: This clinical trial tests the efficacy of an intervention program designed to help overweight and obese women achieve healthy lifestyle changes that will result in a healthy weight prior to pregnancy and appropriate weight gain during pregnancy.

Keywords: Pregnancy; Prenatal; Weight loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia
  • Humans
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / therapy
  • Preconception Care / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Reduction Programs*