Background: Nearly half of all women exceed the 2009 Institute of Medicine guidelines for gestational weight gain. Excess gestational weight gain is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Objective: Our objective was to determine whether having a personal gestational weight gain goal consistent with the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for appropriate gestational weight gain and whether having a discussion with one's obstetrical provider regarding that goal were associated with appropriate gestational weight gain.
Study design: This is a secondary analysis of the Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-To-Be study, a prospective cohort study of nulliparous women. We asked women at their first study visit (between 6 and 13 weeks' gestation) whether they had a gestational weight gain goal and what that goal was. Furthermore, we asked whether their provider discussed a gestational weight gain goal and what that goal was. We classified personal and provider-recommended gestational weight gain goals as consistent or inconsistent with the Institute of Medicine guidelines, taking into account a woman's initial body mass index category (underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obese). We included women with live singleton term deliveries (between 37 and 43 weeks' gestation) in this analysis. We classified the primary outcome, which was gestational weight gain (defined as the difference between first visit weight and final weight before delivery), as inadequate, appropriate, or excessive, based on the Institute of Medicine guidelines and initial body mass index category. We used Student t, Wilcoxon rank-sum, and chi-square tests for bivariable analyses, and multinomial logistic regression was performed to control for confounding variables.
Results: Of 6727 eligible women, 3799 (56.5% of all eligible women) stated they had a gestational weight gain goal. Of the 3799 women with a stated goal, 2589 (38.5% of all women) had a goal consistent with the Institute of Medicine's recommendations. In addition, of the 6727 eligible women, 2188 (32.5%) reported that they discussed gestational weight gain with their provider, and 1548 of these (23.0% of all women) recalled that their provider gave a gestational weight gain goal in accordance with the Institute of Medicine guidelines. Although having any gestational weight gain goal was not associated with appropriate gestational weight gain, having a gestational weight gain goal that was consistent with the Institute of Medicine's recommendations was associated with a reduced risk of excessive (adjusted relative risk ratio, 0.77; 95% confidence interval, 0.64-0.92) and inadequate weight gain (adjusted relative risk ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.53-0.82). Conversely, discussing gestational weight gain goals with a provider was not associated with either inadequate or excessive gestational weight gain even if the provider's recommendations for gestational weight gain were consistent with the guidelines.
Conclusion: Nulliparas who delivered singleton pregnancies at term who had a personal gestational weight gain goal consistent with the Institute of Medicine's recommendations were less likely to have excessive or inadequate gestational weight gain. Further study is required to evaluate the most effective way to communicate this information to patients.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01322529.
Keywords: gestational weight gain; provider counseling; weight gain goals.
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