The pattern of maternal weight gain in women with good pregnancy outcomes

Am J Public Health. 1997 Dec;87(12):1984-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.87.12.1984.


Objectives: This study describes the pattern of maternal weight gain in women with good pregnancy outcomes and provides data to fill in the provisional weight-gain charts published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1990.

Methods: We selected 7002 women with good outcomes (defined by factors related to maternal and infant health) from the University of California, San Francisco, Perinatal Database. For each body mass index category, we compared percentiles of weight gain by trimester in women who achieved the IOM recommendations for total gain and those who did not.

Results: Trimester rates of gain varied by body mass index category and exceeded IOM guidelines in all groups. Forty percent of these women with good outcomes had total gains within the guidelines and provided data to complete the IOM weight-gain charts.

Conclusions: Most women in this good-outcome sample would have been suspected of being at increased risk for poor outcome on the basis of their weight gain. This confirms the IOM recommendation that evaluation of the underlying causes of excessively high or low weight gain during pregnancy is necessary before appropriate interventions can be applied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, U.S., Health and Medicine Division
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Reference Values
  • United States
  • Weight Gain*