Maternal obesity: pregnancy complications, gestational weight gain and nutrition
Article first published online: 23 JAN 2008
© 2008 The Authors
Volume 9, Issue 2, pages 140–150, March 2008
How to Cite
Guelinckx, I., Devlieger, R., Beckers, K. and Vansant, G. (2008), Maternal obesity: pregnancy complications, gestational weight gain and nutrition. Obesity Reviews, 9: 140–150. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2007.00464.x
- Issue published online: 23 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 23 JAN 2008
- Received 11 June 2007; revised 28 November 2007; accepted 11 December 2007
The obesity epidemic affects all, including women of reproductive age. One in five women attending prenatal care in the UK is obese. Prepregnancy obesity is associated with serious short- and long-term complications for mother and child. Furthermore, gestational weight gain (GWG) of obese pregnant women generally exceeds the Institute of Medicine recommended ranges. This observation can partially be explained by an unbalanced diet and lack of daily physical activity. Despite this, few lifestyle intervention trials in obese pregnant women are available. Two out of seven intervention trials focusing on GWG, nutrition and physical activity, reached a significant decrease in GWG. Developing guidelines to promote appropriated weight gain and healthy lifestyle in overweight and obese pregnant women remains a challenge.
This review aims to summarize the complications associated with maternal prepregnancy overweight and obesity and to discuss possible strategies to improve the lifestyle habits of pregnant women.