Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Too Much Or Too Little Weight Gain Poses Risks To Pregnant Mothers, Babies

Date:
May 9, 2008
Source:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Summary:
Women who gain more or less than recommended amounts of weight during pregnancy are likely to increase the risk of problems for both themselves and their child, according to a new report. Among the report's key findings is a strong association between high maternal weight gain and increased fetal growth and infant birth weight, which can contribute to complications during labor if a baby is too big, and can lead to long term health effects for the child.

Women who gain more or less than recommended amounts of weight during pregnancy are likely to increase the risk of problems for both themselves and their child, according to a new report by the RTI International-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Evidence-based Practice Center.

The report, which was supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in partnership with the American Dietetic Association, is based on a systematic review of 150 studies that assessed the short- and long-term effects of maternal weight gain on pregnancy, mothers, fetuses, and children. The studies were published in English between January 1990 and October 2007.

Among the report's key findings is a strong association between high maternal weight gain and increased fetal growth and infant birth weight, which can contribute to complications during labor if a baby is too big, and can lead to long term health effects for the child. High maternal weight gain also is associated with cesarean delivery and weight retention by mothers after childbirth.

The review also confirmed that gaining too little weight during pregnancy can be a problem. Low maternal weight gain is associated with poor fetal growth, lower birth weight, and the chance of a baby being born prematurely.

The report was prompted by several trends, including an increase in the number of American women who are overweight and obese, as well as the number who gain more weight during pregnancy than amounts laid out in the Institute of Medicine's 1990 recommendations for maternal weight gain. Public health officials also are concerned about an increase in pregnancy complications such as diabetes and cesarean delivery.

The Institute of Medicine is currently reviewing its pregnancy weight guidelines to see if they need to be revised; it expects to issue a report next summer.

"Unfortunately, the existing body of research on maternal weight gain is inadequate to permit a more comprehensive assessment," said Meera Viswanathan, Ph.D., the study director and a senior research analyst at RTI International. "Most beneficial would be an analysis that considers the risks and potential benefits of various maternal weight-gain scenarios to all women -- irrespective of age, race or ethnicity, or their body mass index before they became pregnant. But such an analysis is not possible at this time."

Her research colleague at UNC, Anna Maria Siega-Riz, Ph.D., agreed.

"Despite the large body of research, clear clinical recommendations based on this systematic review will be challenging to formulate because of major shortcomings in this research," said Siega-Riz, an associate professor in the UNC School of Public Health's epidemiology and nutrition departments. "To fully understand the effects of maternal weight gain on short- and long-term health outcomes for both women and infants, future studies will need to adopt standard measures and consistent definitions of exposures and outcomes."

The researchers said future studies will need to examine multiple outcomes within the same study population to explore fully the trade-offs between the risks and benefits to the mother and to the child.

Along with Viswanathan and Siega-Riz, the other authors of the report are Merry-K Moos, a research professor in the obstetrics and gynecology department in the UNC School of Medicine, and an adjunct professor in the schools of Nursing and Public Health; Andrea Deierlein, a research assistant and doctoral student in the nutrition department in the School of Public Health; Sunni Mumford, a doctoral student in the epidemiology department in the School of Public Health; Julie Knaack, program assistant in the maternal and child health department in the School of Public Health; Patricia Thieda, project coordinator at UNC's Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research; and Linda J. Lux and Kathleen N. Lohr, Ph.D., from RTI International.

The report can be found on AHRQ's Web site at: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/tp/admattp.htm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Too Much Or Too Little Weight Gain Poses Risks To Pregnant Mothers, Babies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080507155802.htm>.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2008, May 9). Too Much Or Too Little Weight Gain Poses Risks To Pregnant Mothers, Babies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080507155802.htm
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Too Much Or Too Little Weight Gain Poses Risks To Pregnant Mothers, Babies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080507155802.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins