Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Original Article(s)



Background: The timing of maternal weight change in pregnancy may be an important determinant of birth weight. The objective of this study was to measure weight gain patterns from early pregnancy until delivery, and to examine the relationship between prenatal weight gain and low birth weight. Methods: A total of 500 pregnant women within 15-20 days of conception, with confirmed pregnancies and belonging to the middle and high socioeconomic families from Mysore city, India participated in the study. They were followed up for the period of one-week after delivery, and their weight was monitored monthly throughout pregnancy. Results: Pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and obesity in 16.2% of pregnant women were less than 18.5% and 11.4% respectively. Mean total pregnancy weight gain for all women was 8.1±2.9 kg, whereas 85.2% did not meet the international recommendations regarding weight gain for their BMI. The rate of weight gain was highest during the second trimester (3.6±1.4 kg) and the total weight gain was associated with progressively decreasing birth weight. A significant association was found between mid-upper arm circumference and maternal weight at term, and birth weight. Conclusion: According toInstitute ofMedical Guidelines, low weight gains of the mother during pregnancy and mid upper arm circumference below 19 cm are associated with increasing risk of low birth weight.Iran J Med Sci 2006; 31(2): 94-97. Keywords ● Birth weight ● MUAC ● pregnancy ● weight gain