UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Tiffany A. Moore Simas

Publication Date


Document Type



Clinical Epidemiology | Epidemiology | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health


Background: Gestational weight gain within prepregnancy BMI-specific Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended ranges are associated with good outcomes for both mother and baby. Availability of measured prepregnancy weight, recalled prepregnancy weight or measured weight at first prenatal visit if the former two weights are not available, influences the accuracy of provider recommendations for gestational weight gain.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine demographic characteristics associated with the presence of recalled prepregnancy weight and measured prepregnancy weight in the prenatal care medical record.

Methods: Medical record review of 1,998 randomly selected pregnancies, of which 1,911 met inclusion criteria of delivery between January 2007 and December 2012 and receipt of prenatal care in faculty and resident clinic sites at UMass Memorial Health Care (UMMHC). Subjects' paper prenatal chart and electronic record (AllScripts and QS prenatal EMR) were fully abstracted if available and contained both: (1) a recorded measured weight within one year of conception, and (2) a self-reported prepregnancy weight obtained at first prenatal visit. Additionally, exclusion criteria included those pregnancies with only prenatal weights recorded one year prior to conception for index pregnancy. For women with multiple pregnancies during the study time period, one pregnancy was randomly selected for inclusion in study analyses. Demographic data was abstracted for all available charts regardless of presence or absence of weights of interest. Demographic characteristics considered were age (15-29, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35+ years), prepregnancy BMI calculated based on recalled height and weight (underweight: BMI2, normal weight: 18.5≤ BMI/m2, overweight: 25≤BMI/m2, and obese: 30 kg/m2≤BMI), race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic white vs. other race/ethnicity), marital status (not married vs. married), primary language (non-English vs. English), gravidity (1, 2, 3+), education (high school diploma or less, some college, 4 year college or more) and prenatal care site (faculty vs. resident obstetric clinic). Logistic regressions were performed to calculate crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and adjusted analyses controlled for demographics.

Results: Of the 1911 pregnancies meeting initial inclusion criteria, 1711 (89.5%) had charts available for abstraction; fifty-three subjects had multiple pregnancies of which only one was included in analyses resulting in an analytic sample of 1656 pregnancies. Of these, 511 (30.9%) were missing a recalled prepregnancy weight at first prenatal visit, 711 (42.9%) had the recalled prepregnancy weight but did not have a measured weight; and only 434 (26.2%) had both weights of interest. Overweight women had decreased odds of having a recalled weight compared to women of normal weight (aOR 0.75; 95% CI 0.56-1.00). Additionally, women with ≥4 years of college compared to those with ≤ high school diploma (aOR 0.54; 95% CI 0.40-0.73), and those receiving care in the faculty compared to the resident clinics (aOR 0.48; 95% CI 0.35-0.65) had decreased odds of having a recalled weight available in the chart. Among women with available recalled prepregnancy weight (n=1101), 390 (35.4%) also had a documented measured weight within one year of conception and 711 (64.6%) did not. Women who were not married (aOR 0.54; 95% 0.39-0.76) had decreased odds of having a measured weight, whereas those receiving care in the faculty compared to resident clinics had greater odds (aOR 1.79; 95% CI 1.26-2.53) of having a measured weight within one year of conception available in their charts.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that approximately 25% of women have both recalled weight at first prenatal visit and at least one weight measured within one year of conception in their medical records. Prepregnancy BMI, education, and prenatal care site were associated with presence or absence of recalled weight. Similarly, amongst those with recalled weight, martial status and prenatal care in faculty practice where associated with decreased and increased odds respectively of having a measured weight within one year of conception. We can use this information to help practitioners target women for which greater efforts are needed to provide accurate IOM-recommended BMI-specific gestational weight gain guidelines. This may be utilized to discern patterns of health care access in this patient population.


Gestational weight gain, Prepregnancy weight, Body Mass Index (BMI)

Rights and Permissions

Copyright is held by the author(s), with all rights reserved.

DOI of Published Version


Journal/Book/Conference Title

2014 Senior Scholars Program Poster Presentation Day


Poster presented on Senior Scholars Program Poster Presentation Day at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, on April 30, 2014. Medical students Julie M. Tabroff and Jessica V. Masiero participated in this study as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.