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The relationship between gestational weight gain and fetal growth: time to take stock?
O'Higgins, Amy; Doolan, Anne; Mullaney, Laura; Daly, Niamh; McCartney, Daniel; Turner, Michael
The aim of this article is to review the current evidence on gestational weight gain (GWG). Maternal obesity has emerged as one of the great challenges in modern obstetrics as it is becoming increasingly common and is associated with increased maternal and fetal complications. There has been an upsurge of interest in GWG with an emphasis on the relationship between excessive GWG and increased fetal growth. Recent recommendations from the Institute of Medicine in the USA have revised downwards the weight gain recommendations in pregnancy for obese mothers. We believe that it is time to take stock again about the advice that pregnant women are given about GWG and their lifestyle before, during, and after pregnancy. The epidemiological links between excessive GWG and aberrant fetal growth are weak, particularly in obese women. There is little evidence that intervention studies decrease excessive GWG or improve intrauterine fetal growth. Indeed, there is a potential risk that inappropriate interventions during the course of pregnancy may lead to fetal malnutrition that may have adverse clinical consequences, both in the short- and long-term. It may be more appropriate to shift the focus of attention from monitoring maternal weight to increasing physical activity levels and improving nutritional intakes.
Keyword(s): Gestational weight gain; Fetal growth; Maternal obesity
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Dublin
Publisher(s): De Gruyter
First Indexed: 2019-05-11 06:35:29 Last Updated: 2019-05-11 06:35:29