Incidence and Risk Factors of Excess Gestational Weight Gain in Indian Women
Excess Gestational Weight Gain (EGWG) increases risks of adverse obstetric outcomes, long-term obesity and metabolic disorders in mothers and children. The objective was to identify the incidence and risk factors of EGWG in the Indian context in order to develop effective preventative measures. A prospective cohort study was done to evaluate Gestational Weight Gain (GWG) in pregnant women who have completed a validated knowledge survey on GWG in 4 urban maternity tertiary centres and subsequently delivered at the same centres. Chi square test and Fisher’s exact test were used to identify risk factors associated with EGWG. 245 women completed the study. Gestational weight gain was classified as per the Institute of Medicine BMI-specific recommendations. Of the total women surveyed, 37.5% exceeded the GWG recommendation. The overweight and obese women constituted 50.2% of the entire population. In the overweight-obese category, 52% of women exceeded GWG recommendations. Risk factors for EGWG were high pre-pregnancy BMI (P<0.001), underestimation of pre-pregnancy weight category (P=0.003) and overestimation of GWG recommendations (P<0.001). In overweight-obese women, primiparity also increased risk of EGWG (P=0.04). Maternal age, education and perception of EGWG associated risks did not influence GWG. Ensuring women begin their pregnancies at a normal weight and provision of individualised GWG related counselling, either pre-conception or in the early stages of pregnancy may help foster appropriate weight gain in pregnancy. A modification in the current model of care involving detailed screening and nutritional counselling at the first visit itself could ensure effectiveness.
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