Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 298, Issue 4, pp 717–723 | Cite as

Demographic influence on maternal weight gain during pregnancy: where will we end up?

  • Veronika GüntherEmail author
  • Ibrahim Alkatout
  • Mohamed Elessawy
  • Johannes Ackermann
  • Nicolai Maass
  • Manfred Voigt
Maternal-Fetal Medicine



Maternal obesity is one of the most commonly occurring risk factors in obstetrics. Complications, such as gestational diabetes, venous thromboembolism, preeclampsia and many more, exist far more often in obese women than in pregnant women of normal weight.


Changes in maternal weight gain during pregnancy were analysed in Schleswig-Holstein between 1995 and 1997 and between 2004 and 2009. Between 1995 and 1997 data were drawn from 74,000 singleton pregnancies and between 2004 and 2009 from 118,000 pregnancies. The data centre of the University of Rostock performed the statistical analysis.


Maternal weight at the time of first consultation with proof of pregnancy was 67.6 kg in 1995 and increased to 70.7 kg in 2009. This means an absolute difference of 3.1 kg. Maternal weight at the time of delivery changed from 80.8 to 84.9 kg in the same period. This is an absolute difference of 4.1 kg. Body weight is higher in 2009 than in 1995 across nearly all age groups. Even in younger women (aged 17 years and over) differences in weight can be registered. The obesity rate (BMI ≥ 30) in relation to maternal age was also analysed. In general, the rate of obesity is higher in 2009 than in 1995 across all age groups.


These results show an increase in maternal weight gain during pregnancy over the last decades. However, the change in maternal weight is not dependent upon maternal age. The weight differences are consistent across nearly all age groups. Thus, age is not a risk factor for overweight and obesity.


Pregnancy Maternal weight gain Schleswig-Holstein Perinatal data 


Author contributions

VG: project development, writing of manuscript. IA: writing of manuscript, editing. ME: project development. JA: project development. NM: project development. MV: project development, data collection and analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose. The authors had full control of all primary data. The Journal is allowed to review the data if requested.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The data analysed in the present paper were obtained from the routine data collection undertaken by the German Perinatal Survey, a mandatory survey that is conducted throughout Germany. Thus, an additional vote of the ethics committee was not necessary.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity Hospitals Schleswig-HolsteinKielGermany
  2. 2.Center for Medicine and SocietyAlbert-Ludwigs-Universität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineAlbert-Ludwigs-Universität FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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