Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 148–154 | Cite as

Gestational Weight Loss: Comparison Between the Birth Certificate and the Medical Record, Florida, 2012

  • Shin Y. KimEmail author
  • Marie A. Bailey
  • Jaylan Richardson
  • Cheryl A. S. McFarland
  • William M. Sappenfield
  • Sabrina Luke
  • Andrea J. Sharma


Objective Examine agreement with the medical record (MR) when gestational weight loss (GWL) on the Florida birth certificate (BC) is ≥ 0 pounds (lbs). Methods In 2012, 3923 Florida-resident women had a live, singleton birth where BC indicated GWL ≥ 0 lbs. Of these, we selected a stratified random sample of 2141 and abstracted from the MR prepregnancy and delivery weight data used to compute four estimates of GWL (delivery minus prepregnancy weight) from different sources found within the MR (first prenatal visit record, nursing admission record, labor/delivery records, BC worksheet). We assessed agreement between the BC and MR estimates for GWL categorized as 0, 1–10, 11–19, and ≥ 20 lbs. Results Prepregnancy or delivery weight was missing or source not in the MR for 23–81% of records. Overall agreement on GWL between the BC and the four MR estimates ranged from 39.1 to 57.2%. Agreement by GWL category ranged from 10.6 to 38.0% for 0 lbs, 47.6 to 64.3% for 1–10 lbs, 49.5 to 60.0% for 11–19 lbs, and 47.8 to 67.7% for ≥ 20 lbs. Conclusions Prepregnancy and delivery weight were frequently missing from the MR or inconsistently documented across the different sources. When the BC indicated GWL ≥ 0 lbs, agreement with different sources of the MR was moderate to poor revealing the need to reduce missing data and better understand the quality of weight data in the MR.


Prepregnancy weight Delivery weight Gestational weight gain Gestational weight loss Birth certificate 



We would like to thank the Bureau of Vital Statistics at The Florida Department of Health for their collaboration and assistance in the logistics of the study: Ken Jones, Gary Sammett, Sharon Dover, and Ana Goold. We also extend our deep appreciation to the abstractors who, through their diligence, dedication, and attention to detail, assured that the abstractions we received were as accurate as possible.


Funding was provided by National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have any conflicts of interests.

Supplementary material

10995_2018_2604_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 KB)


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Florida Department of HealthTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.Central Jersey Family Health ConsortiumNorth BrunswickUSA
  4. 4.College of Public HealthUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  5. 5.U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned CorpsAtlantaUSA

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