Gestational Weight Gain

Results of our recent study assessing the impact of receiving educational materials about gestational weight gain showed that women who received them early in their pregnancy were more likely to stay within weight gain guidelines.

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WIC enhances prenatal health during pregnancy and supports postpartum health, helping to optimize  maternal health  across the childbearing years. Our recent research has shown that maternal weight and gestational weight gain (GWG) sets the stage for either optimal or suboptimal periconceptional health for both a current and subsequent pregnancy (Koleilat & Whaley, 2013). Among the largely Hispanic WIC population served in Southern California, over two-thirds of mothers on WIC enter pregnancy overweight or obese. These mothers are then the most likely to gain excessive weight during pregnancy. The amount of weight women should gain during pregnancy is dependent on a woman’s weight before pregnancy. The Weight Categories for Women BMI chart included in the links below helps WIC staff identify a woman’s weight category when she entered pregnancy. Based on the woman’s prepregnancy weight status (under weight, normal weight, overweight or obese) the appropriate is given and reviewed with the pregnant women during her first trimester. Results of our recent study assessing the impact of providing educational materials on gestational weight gain to pregnant women showed that those who received these materials early in their pregnancy were more likely to stay within weight gain guidelines.  Results were strongest for women who entered pregnancy overweight or obese. We encourage women to know their weight gain goal, and track their weight gain often through pregnancy. It is our hope that WIC programs and medical staff that care for pregnant women will use these materials. We also encourage participants to share these materials with their medical providers.  Materials are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Armenian and can be viewed in the links below.  Please contact projects@www.phfewic.org for further information.

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