Risk factors for excessive gestational weight gain in a healthy, nulliparous cohort

Type Article

Journal Article


A. Restall; R. S. Taylor; J. M. Thompson; D. Flower; G. A. Dekker; L. C. Kenny; L. Poston; L. M. McCowan

Year of publication



J Obes







OBJECTIVE: Excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) is associated with adverse maternal and child outcomes and contributes to obesity in women. Our aim was to identify early pregnancy factors associated with excessive GWG, in a contemporary nulliparous cohort. METHODS: Participants in the SCOPE study were classified into GWG categories (not excessive" versus "excessive") based on pregravid body mass index (BMI) using 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines. Maternal characteristics and pregnancy risk factors at 14-16 weeks were compared between categories and multivariable analysis controlled for confounding factors. RESULTS: Of 1950 women, 17% gained weight within the recommended range, 74% had excessive and 9% inadequate GWG. Women with excessive GWG were more likely to be overweight (adjOR 2.9 (95% CI 2.2-3.8)) or obese (adjOR 2.5 (95% CI 1.8-3.5)) before pregnancy compared to women with a normal BMI. Other factors independently associated with excessive GWG included recruitment in Ireland, younger maternal age, increasing maternal birthweight, cessation of smoking by 14-16 weeks, increased nightly sleep duration, high seafood diet, recent immigrant, limiting behaviour, and decreasing exercise by 14-16 weeks. Fertility treatment was protective. CONCLUSIONS: Identification of potentially modifiable risk factors for excessive GWG provides opportunities for intervention studies to improve pregnancy outcome and prevent maternal obesity."