Weight change across the start of three consecutive pregnancies and the risk of maternal morbidity and SGA birth at the second and third pregnancy

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Background: Weight-change across parities and/or current BMI may influence maternal and fetal morbidity and requires to be differentiated to better inform weight-management guidance.
Methods: Direction, pattern and magnitude of weight-change across three consecutive parities and thereby two inter-pregnancy periods was described in 5079 women. The association between inter-pregnancy weight-change versus current BMI and adverse maternal events, SGA-birth and preterm delivery at second and third pregnancy were investigated by logistic regression.
Results: More women gained weight across the defined childbearing period than lost it, with ~35% of normal and overweight women gaining sufficient weight to move up a BMI-category. Nine patterns of weight-change were defined across two inter-pregnancy periods and 50% of women remained weight-stable throughout (within 2BMI units/period). Women who were overweight/obese at first pregnancy had higher risk of substantial weight-gain and loss (>10kg) during each of two inter-pregnancy periods. Inter-pregnancy weight-gain (> 2BMI units) between first and second pregnancy increased the risk of maternal morbidity (1or more event of hypertensive disease, caesarean-section, thromboembolism) at second pregnancy, while weight-loss (>2BMI units) increased the risk of SGA-birth. Similarly, increased risk of maternal morbidity at the third pregnancy was influenced by weight-gain during both inter-pregnancy periods but not by current BMI-category. Both weight-gain between first and second pregnancy, and being overweight/obese by third pregnancy protected the fetus against SGA-birth whereas weight-loss between second and third pregnancy doubled the SGA risk.
Conclusion: Half the women studied exhibited significant weight-fluctuations. This influenced their risk of maternal morbidity and SGA-birth at second and third pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0179589
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2017


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