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Objective

To investigate whether gestational weight loss (GWL) after the diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in overweight and obese women is associated with improved perinatal outcomes. Obesity and GDM are risk factors for adverse perinatal outcomes, but few studies have investigated weight loss during pregnancy in women with these comorbidities.

Design and Methods

Retrospective cohort study of 26,205 overweight and obese gestational diabetic women enrolled in the California Diabetes and Pregnancy Program. Women with GWL during program enrollment were compared to those with weight gain. Perinatal outcomes were assessed using chi-square test and multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results

About 5.2% of women experienced GWL. GWL was associated with decreased odds of macrosomia (aOR 0.63, 95% CI 0.52-0.77), NICU admission (aOR 0.51, 95% CI 0.27-0.95), and cesarean delivery (aOR 0.81, 95% CI 0.68-0.97). Odds of SGA status (aOR 1.69, 95% CI 1.32-2.17) and preterm delivery <34 weeks (aOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.23-2.37) were increased.

Conclusions

In overweight and obese women with GDM, third trimester weight loss is associated with some improved maternal and neonatal outcomes, although this effect is lessened by increased odds of SGA status and preterm delivery. Further research on weight loss and interventions to improve adherence to weight guidelines in this population is recommended.