Overweight or obese females face increased risks for themselves and their babies compared with women in the healthy weight range.1–4 Cohort studies have shown that overweight and obese women who contain gestational weight gain (GWG) within Institute of Medicine (IOM) targets5 have lower rates of caesarean section, gestational diabetes, hypertension, postpartum haemorrhage and macrosomia compared with those who gain excess weight.6–9


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3. Raatikainen K, Heiskanen N, Heinonen S. Transition from overweight to obesity worsens pregnancy outcome in a BMIdependent manner. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2006;14:165–71.
4. Dodd JM, Grivell RM, Nguyen AM, Chan A, Robinson JS. Maternal and perinatal health outcomes by body mass index category. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 2011;51:136–40.
5. Rasmussen KM, Yaktine AL. Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines. Guidelines CtRIPW, editor. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine; National Research Council, 2009.
6. Cedergren M. Effects of gestational weight gain and body mass index on obstetric outcome in Sweden. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2006;93:269–74.
7. Cedergren MI. Optimal gestational weight gain for body mass index categories. Obstet Gynecol 2007;110:759–64.
8. Kiel DW, Dodson EA, Artal R, Boehmer TK, Leet TL. Gestational weight gain and pregnancy outcomes in obese women: how much is enough? Obstet Gynecol 2007;110:752–8.
9. Edwards LE, Hellerstedt WL, Alton IR, Story M, Himes JH. Pregnancy complications and birth outcomes in obese and normal-weight women: effects of gestational weight change. Obstet Gynecol 1996;87:389–94.

Published: September 16, 2020

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