To evaluate the association between pre-pregnancy body mass index(BMI),as well as
maternal weight gain during pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes.
Black pregnant volunteers (n = 94) visiting the Potchefstroom Clinic were followed-up
during pregnancy. A regression analysis was used to estimate the mother's
pre-pregnancy weight for those whose first visit was during the second trimester of
pregnancy. Weight gain between visits was used to calculate weekly weight gain.
Partial correlation coefficients were calculated for the association between
pre-pregnancy BMI, as well as weekly weight gain and birth weight, length and head
circumference of the baby, with adjustment for smoking and HIV status.
Results and discussion
Participants were categorized into three groups: Pre-pregnancy BMI <19.8, BMI 19.8-
26 and BMI >26. In reference to the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for
weight gain, it was found that most of the women tended to gain too much weight.
Overweight women tended to have a higher blood pressure during pregnancy.
Significant positive correlations were found between age and parity, age and
Pre-pregnancy BMI and household income and baby's birth weight. For women with a
BMI </= 26, positive correlations between weekly weight gain and head circumference
and weekly weight gain and birth weight were found. For those with a BMI >26
positive correlations between household income and baby's head circumference and
weekly weight gain and age were found. In the total group no significant correlations
were found between weekly weight gain or mother's pre-pregnancy BMI and the baby's
weight, height or head circumference.
Pregnant women tended to gain too much weight. Overweight women are more prone
to a higher blood pressure and other health risks, therefore the importance of weight
monitoring of pregnant women must be emphasized.||