Association Between Obstetric Provider's Advice and Gestational Weight Gain

UMMS Affiliation

UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research Program; Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Division of Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavioral Medicine | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Maternal and Child Health | Medical Education | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion | Women's Health


Objective This study examined associations between pregnant women's report of obstetric provider GWG advice, self-reported adherence to such advice, and GWG.

Methods Healthy pregnant women (N = 91) who started obstetric care prior to 17 weeks of gestation completed assessments between 30 and 34 weeks of gestation. These included survey (questions on receipt of and adherence to provider GWG advice, and demographics) and anthropometric measures. GWG data were abstracted from electronic health records. Analyses included Chi square and Mann-Whitney tests, and binary and multivariate logistic regressions.

Results The cohort's median age was 28 years, 68% of women were White, 78% had a college education, 50.5% were overweight or obese before the pregnancy, and 62.6% had GWGs above the Institute of Medicine-recommended ranges. Sixty-seven percent of women reported having received GWG advice from their obstetric providers and, of those, 54.1% reported that they followed their provider's advice. Controlling for race, education and pre-pregnancy BMI, receipt of GWG advice was marginally associated with increased odds of excessive weight gain (OR 2.52, CI 0.89-7.16). However, women that reported following the advice had lower odds of excessive GWG (OR 0.18, CI 0.03-0.91) and, on average, gained 11.3 pounds less than those who reported following the advice somewhat or not at all.

Conclusions Frequency of GWG advice from obstetric providers is less than optimal. When given and followed, provider advice may reduce the risk of excessive GWG. Research to understand factors that facilitate providers GWG advice giving and women's adherence to providers' advice, and to develop interventions to optimize both, is needed.


Gestational weight gain, Pregnancy, Provider advice

DOI of Published Version



Matern Child Health J. 2018 Feb 15. doi: 10.1007/s10995-018-2497-y. [Epub ahead of print]. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Maternal and child health journal

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID