Current Epidemiology Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 12–18 | Cite as

Towards Defining Optimal Gestational Weight Gain

  • Jennifer A. Hutcheon
  • Emily OkenEmail author
Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology (EF Schisterman and E Yeung, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology


In 2009, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee to Reexamine Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines published updated recommendations on the rate and amount of weight that women should gain during pregnancy. These recommendations were based on a large body of primarily observational literature reporting ranges of total pregnancy weight gain associated with lowest risks of a number of adverse maternal and newborn health outcomes. However, the IOM committee identified many gaps in the evidence to support guidelines for optimal amount and pattern of gain. In this article, the authors outline how recent insights on the role of early pregnancy weight gain, patterns of weight gain, emerging evidence from randomized trials of weight gain interventions, and accounting for the relative importance that women and care-providers place on different maternal and child health outcomes may advance our understanding of optimal pregnancy weight gain and inform the creation of improved pregnancy weight gain guidelines.


Nutrition in pregnancy Gestational weight gain Reference values Practice guidelines Pregnancy complications Postpartum weight retention Childhood obesity 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jennifer A. Hutcheon and Emily Oken declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All studies by both authors involving animal and/or human subjects were performed after approval by the appropriate institutional review boards. When required, written informed consent was obtained from all participants.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of British ColumbiaBC Children’s and Women’s HospitalVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Population MedicineHarvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care InstituteBostonUSA

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