Background: Abnormal gestational weight gain (GWG) has been associated with adverse outcomes for mothers and their offspring.
Objectives: To compare the achievement of recommended GWG and lifestyle factors in women with high-risk versus normal-risk pregnancies.
Methods: Pregnant women hospitalized in a gynecological and obstetrics department and pregnant women who arrived at a community clinic for a routine checkup were interviewed and completed questionnaires relating to weight gain and lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking, diet, exercise). Recommended GWG was defined by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Results: GWG higher than ACOG recommendations was reported by 52/92 women (57%) with normal pregnancies and by 43/86 (50%) with high-risk pregnancies. On univariate analysis, characteristics associated with greater GWG were: current or past smoking, age > 40 years, pre-gestational body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2, low fruit intake, and high snack intake. High-risk pregnancies were associated with pre-gestational BMI > 25 kg/m2 (48% vs. 27%, P = 0.012), consumption of vitamins (84% vs. 63%, P = 0.001), avoidance of certain foods (54% vs. 21%, P = 0.015), receiving professional nutritionist consultation (65% vs. 11%, P = 0.001), and less physical activity (9% vs. 24%, P = 0.01).
Conclusions: A minority of pregnant women met the recommended GWG. No difference was noted between normal and high-risk pregnancies. High-risk population tended to have a less healthy lifestyle. Counseling to follow a healthy, balanced diet should be recommended, regardless of pregnancy risk, with particular attention to women at high risk of extra weight gain.