Gestational weight gain


Obesity rates during pregnancy in the US has increased from 13% in 1993 to 24% in 2015.


At that time nearly half of all women entering pregnancy with the body mass index of 24% of overweight,  and 24% obesity.


Gestational weight gain is defined as the amount of weight gain a woman experiences between conception, or first trimester and birth of an infant.


 Pre-pregnancy BMI is independently associated with many adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Excessive gestational weight,  and postpartum weight retention increase health problems associated with pregnancy, labor, and long-term morbidities.

In women with and without diabetes, excessive gestational weight gain is associated with poorer pregnancy outcome.

It is recommended the women begin pregnancy with a normal BMI.


Healthy gestational weight gain varies according to pre-pregnancy weight category with 25-35 pounds for normal weight, or BMI of 18.5-24.9, 15-20 pounds for overweight, or BMI 25-29.9 and 11–20 pounds for  obese, or BMI 30 or greater.


Excessive GWG adversely affects maternal and baby health postpartum.


The three main risk factors related to excessive weight gain during pregnancy include: gestational diabetes, macrosomia, and cesarean delivery.


Only a little over a quarter of women have adequate GWG.


A little less than a quarter of women have inadequate GWG. 


Excessive GWG is the most prevalent occurring in around half of pregnant women.


Higher BMI pre-pregnancy may be associated with a greater risk for excessive gestational weight gain and ultimately for cardio-metabolic diseases prenatally and postpartum.


Lower food security may be associated with excess gestational weight gain because the food available is cheap, but high in calories.

Dietary intakes for pregnant women include a minimum of 175 g of carbohydrates, 71 g of protein, and 28 g of fiber.

It is advised to limit carbohydrates to 35 to 45% of total calories.

Having access to affordable and nutritious food has been linked to a lesser risk of impaired glucose tolerance.


There seems is a negative correlation between food security and excess gestational weight gain that is sometimes related to socioeconomic status.


Overweight and obese women are significantly more likely to expect excessive gestational weight gain compared with normal-weight women.


Women who report expecting to gain excessively during pregnancy are three times more likely to actually gain excessively than those who expect to gain within the guidelines.


Low income might also predispose women to excess gestational weight gain: possibility is related to stress. 



Women with a higher monthly budget for food may have a healthier gestational weight gain.



Wealthier women may be more likely to suffer from excess gestational weight gain, as well: greater household income does not necessarily provide protection against excess gestational weight gain.



Women of racial/ethnic minorities demonstrate disproportionately higher obesity levels than non-Hispanic white women.



African American women in general may have higher postpartum cardio-metabolic risk and more excess gestational weight gain than Latina women, who in turn have more than white women.



White women in poverty, on the other hand, had excess gestational weight gain and higher postpartum cardio-metabolic risk than the white women with higher incomes.



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