Skip to main content
Effective Health Care Program

Future Research Needs for Outcomes of Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Systematic Review Archived

People using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in these files. For assistance, please contact us.

Archived: This report is greater than 3 years old. Findings may be used for research purposes, but should not be considered current.

This report is from AHRQ's series on Future Research Needs Projects.


This investigation of future research needs builds on work of the RTI–University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Evidence-based Practice Center. Their team conducted the systematic evidence review on Outcomes of Maternal Weight Gain released in 2008. The rationale for the review cited specific trends in perinatal health with important public health implications as driving factors for conduct of the review: Since the 1990 Institute of Medicine (IOM) BMI guidelines on weight gain in pregnancy were published, data show that women in the United States are increasingly gaining more weight during pregnancy than recommended; including: excess weight gain among overweight and obese women, overweight and obesity among women of childbearing age are rising as are levels among preschool children, adults tend to gain weight with age so that advancing maternal age contributes to higher prepregnancy body weight, pregnancy complications associated with excess weight, such as gestational diabetes, large-for-gestational-age babies, and cesarean birth, are increasing in prevalence.