Gestational weight gain and predicted changes in offspring anthropometrics between early infancy and 3 years


Address for correspondence: Dr AL Deierlein, 17 East 102nd Street, D3-125, New York, NY 10029, USA. E-mail:



To determine how gestational weight gain (GWG), categorized using the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations, relates to changes in offspring weight-for-age (WAZ), length-for-age (LAZ) and weight-for-length z-scores (WLZ) between early infancy and 3 years.


Women with singleton infants were recruited from the third cohort of the Pregnancy, Infection, and Nutrition Study (2001–2005). Term infants with at least one weight or length measurement during the study period were included (n = 476). Multivariable linear mixed effects regression models estimated longitudinal changes in WAZ, LAZ and WLZ associated with GWG.


In early infancy, compared with infants of women with adequate weight gain, those of women with excessive weight gains had higher WAZ, LAZ and WLZ. Excessive GWG ≥ 200% of the recommended amount was associated with faster rates of change in WAZ and LAZ and noticeably higher predicted mean WAZ and WLZ that persisted across the study period.


GWG is associated with significant differences in offspring anthropometrics in early infancy that persisted to 3 years of age. More longitudinal studies that utilize maternal and paediatric body composition measures are necessary to understand the nature of this association.