Journal of Women's Health Care

Journal of Women's Health Care
Open Access

ISSN: 2167-0420



Is Gestational Weight Gain and Early Postpartum Weight Retention Associated with Clinician Advice in First Time Mothers?

Van der Pligt P, Ball K, Hesketh KD, Teychenne M, Crawford D, Dodd J and Campbell K

Objective: Excess gestational weight gain (GWG) and postpartum weight retention increase risk for multiple maternal and child health complications. It is necessary to determine factors which influence maternal weight across the perinatal period. The aim of this study was to describe change in maternal body mass index (BMI) from prepregnancy to early postpartum, document weight advice provided by clinicians and assess associations of advice received with maternal weight gain during and following pregnancy. Methods: First-time mothers (n=448) and their newborns who attended first-time parent groups at their local Maternal and Child Health Centres were recruited to the InFANT Extend cluster randomised controlled trial. Baseline data collection occurred when women were approximately three months postpartum. Women completed a written questionnaire assessing their own health and the provision of weight-related advice received by clinicians. Prepregnancy weight and GWG were self-reported. Postpartum height and weight were objectively measured. Results: Mean GWG was 14.0 ± 6.08 kg and 41.0% of women experienced excess gestational weight gain. Mean PPWR was 4.3 ± 5.75 kg and mean BMI increased from 24.8 ± 4.9 kg/m² pre-pregnancy to 26.2 ± 4.9 kg/m² at three months postpartum. The proportion of women classified obese (BMIâ�¥ 30kg/m2) almost doubled from prepregnancy (11.8%) to three months postpartum (21.7%) (p<0.001). 54.4% of all women reported receiving advice regarding how much weight to gain during pregnancy and 42.6% reported receiving advice to avoid excess GWG. During the postpartum period, just 5.8% of women reported receiving advice about how much they should weigh and 8.3% reported receiving advice about programs to support weight loss. No associations were found between provision of clinician advice with gestational weight gain or postpartum weight retention. Conclusion: More intensive approaches are required, opposed to provision of advice alone, to influence healthy maternal weight across the perinatal period in the interest of best maternal and child health outcomes.