The present study analyzed the association between (i) eating habits during pregnancy, (ii) advice from family or friends about gestational weight gain (GWG), and iii) personal effort to stay within weight gain limits, and meeting GWG recommendations.
Participants included pregnant and postpartum women who completed the validated electronic maternal health survey (EMat). Sociodemographic, lifestyle variables, and body mass index were covariates used in the analyses.
Among all eligible women (1171), and a subset of women receiving a specific GWG target from HCP (365, 31.2%), participants who considered that their eating habits became less healthy, or could not evaluate if habits changed, had a higher likelihood of gaining above (adjusted odds ratio, aOR = 2.62; 95% CI 1.84; 3.73 for the total sample (TS); aOR = 4.79; CI 2.32;9.88 for the subset) GWG guidelines after adjusting for the covariates. Women who received advice from family or friends about how much weight they should gain while pregnant were more likely to experience GWG below (TS: aOR = 1.49; CI 1.02;2.17; subset: aOR = 1.95; CI 1.03;3.68) and above (TS: aOR = 1.42; CI 1.01;1.99; subset: aOR = 1.92; CI 1.06;3.48) guidelines, when compared to women who did not receive family/friends advice. Moreover, lower personal effort to stay within weight gain limits was associated with gaining below (TS: aOR = 1.77; CI 1.07;2.92; subset: aOR = 2.71; CI 1.30; 5.65) GWG guidelines.
Conclusions for Practice
Women self-reporting less healthy eating habits than before pregnancy, receiving advice from family/friends about GWG, and lower personal effort to stay within guidelines, had an increased odds of weight gain discordant with recommendations.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Aaronson, L. S. (1989). Perceived and received support: effects on health behaviour during pregnancy. Nursing Research, 38(1), 4–9.
Allison, K. C., Wrotniak, B. H., Pare, E., & Sarwer, D. B. (2012). Psychosocial characteristics and gestational weight change among overweight, african american pregnant women. Obstet Gynecol Int, 2012, 878607. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/878607.
Althuizen, E., van Poppel, M. N., Seidell, J. C., van der Wijden, C., & van Mechelen, W. (2006). Design of the New Life (style) study: a randomised controlled trial to optimise maternal weight development during pregnancy. BMC public health, 6(1), 168. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-6-168.
Bandura, A. (2004). Health promotion by social cognitive means. Health Educ Behav, 31(2), 143–164. https://doi.org/10.1177/1090198104263660.
Biro, F. M., Wiley-Kroner, B., & Whitsett, D. (1999). Perceived and measured weight changes during adolescent pregnancy. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, 12(1), 31–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1083-3188(00)86618-8.
Carruth, B. R., & Skinner, J. D. (1991). Practitioners beware: regional differences in beliefs about nutrition during pregnancy. J Am Dietetic Assoc, 91(4), 435–440.
Catalano, P. M., Mele, L., Landon, M. B., Ramin, S. M., Reddy, U. M., Casey, B., et al. (2014). Inadequate weight gain in overweight and obese pregnant women: what is the effect on fetal growth? Am J Obstetr Gynecol, 211(2), 137.e131–137.e137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2014.02.004.
Conway, R., Reddy, S., & Davies, J. (1999). Dietary restraint and weight gain during pregnancy. Euro J Clin Nutr, 53(11), 849–853. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600864.
Davis, E. M., Stange, K. C., & Horwitz, R. I. (2012). Childbearing, stress and obesity disparities in women: a public health perspective. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 16(1), 109–118. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-010-0712-6.
Ferraro, Z. M., Contador, F., Tawfiq, A., Adamo, K. B., & Gaudet, L. (2015). Gestational weight gain and medical outcomes of pregnancy. Obstetr Med, 8(3), 133–137.
Goldstein, R. F., Abell, S. K., Ranasinha, S., Misso, M., Boyle, J. A., Black, M. H., et al. (2017). Association of gestational weight gain with maternal and infant outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA, 317(21), 2207–2225.
Guelfi, K. J., Wang, C., Dimmock, J. A., Jackson, B., Newnham, J. P., & Yang, H. (2015). A comparison of beliefs about exercise during pregnancy between Chinese and Australian pregnant women. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 15, 345. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-015-0734-6.
Halili, L., Liu, R. H., Weeks, A., Deonandan, R., & Adamo, K. (2019). High maternal self-efficacy is associated with meeting Institute of Medicine gestational weight gain recommendations. PLoS ONE, 14(12), e0226301. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226301.
Hill, B., Skouteris, H., McCabe, M., Milgrom, J., Kent, B., Herring, S. J., et al. (2013). A conceptual model of psychosocial risk and protective factors for excessive gestational weight gain. Midwifery, 29(2), 110–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2011.12.001.
Institute of Medicine (IOM). (2009). Committee to reexamine IOM pregnancy weight guidelines. In K. M. Rasmussen & A. L. Yaktine (Eds.), Weight gain during pregnancy: Reexamining the guidelines. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Laraia, B., Epel, E., & Siega-Riz, A. M. (2013). Food insecurity with past experience of restrained eating is a recipe for increased gestational weight gain. Appetite, 65, 178–184. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2013.01.018.
Liu, J., Whitaker, K. M., Stella, M. Y., Chao, S. M., & Lu, M. C. (2016). Association of provider advice and pregnancy weight gain in a predominantly Hispanic population. Women's Health Issues, 26(3), 321–328.
McClure, C. K., Bodnar, L. M., Ness, R., & Catov, J. M. (2011). Accuracy of maternal recall of gestational weight gain 4 to 12 years after delivery. Obesity (Silver Spring), 19(5), 1047–1053. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2010.300.
McDonald, S. D., Park, C. K., Timm, V., Schmidt, L., Neupane, B., & Beyene, J. (2013). What psychological, physical, lifestyle, and knowledge factors are associated with excess or inadequate weight gain during pregnancy? A cross-sectional survey. J Obstet Gynaecol Can, 35(12), 1071–1082. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1701-2163(15)30757-x.
McDonald, S. D., Pullenayegum, E., Taylor, V. H., Lutsiv, O., Bracken, K., Good, C., et al. (2011). Despite 2009 guidelines, few women report being counselled correctly about weight gain during pregnancy. Am J Obstetr Gynecol, 205(4), 333.e331–333.e336.
Nikolopoulos, H., Mayan, M., MacIsaac, J., Miller, T., & Bell, R. C. (2017). Women’s perceptions of discussions about gestational weight gain with health care providers during pregnancy and postpartum: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 17(1), 97.
Ockenden, H., Gunnell, K., Giles, A., Nerenberg, K., Goldfield, G., Manyanga, T., et al. (2016). Development and preliminary validation of a comprehensive questionnaire to assess women’s knowledge and perception of the current weight gain guidelines during pregnancy. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 13(12), 1187.
Olson, C. M., & Strawderman, M. S. (2003). Modifiable behavioural factors in a biopsychosocial model predict inadequate and excessive gestational weight gain. J Am Dietetic Assoc, 103(1), 48–54.
Orloff, N. C., Flammer, A., Hartnett, J., Liquorman, S., Samelson, R., & Hormes, J. M. (2016). Food cravings in pregnancy: preliminary evidence for a role in excess gestational weight gain. Appetite, 105, 259–265. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.04.040.
Phelan, S. (2010). Pregnancy: a “teachable moment” for weight control and obesity prevention. Am J Obstetr Gynecol, 202(2), 135.e131–135.e138.
Plante, A. S., Lemieux, S., Labrecque, M., & Morisset, A. S. (2018). Relationship between psychosocial factors, dietary intake and gestational weight gain: a narrative review. J Obstet Gynaecol Can, 41(4), 495–504. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jogc.2018.02.023.
Redding, C. A., Rossi, J. S., Rossi, S. R., Velicer, W. F., & Prochaska, J. O. (2000). Health behaviour models. International Electronic Journal of Health Education, 3(Special Issue), 180–193.
Reid, A. E., Field, M., Jones, A., DiLemma, L. C., & Robinson, E. (2019). Social modelling of health behaviours: testing self-affirmation as a conformity-reduction strategy. The British Journal of Health Psychology, 24(3), 651–667.
Richards, C. R., Tucker, C. M., Brozyna, A., Ferdinand, L. A., & Shapiro, M. A. (2009). Social and cognitive factors associated with preventative health care behaviours of culturally diverse adolescents. Journal of the National Medical Association, 101(3), 236–242. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0027-9684(15)30851-8.
Strychar, I. M., Chabot, C., Champagne, F., & Ghadirian, P. (2000). Psychosocial and lifestyle factors associated with insufficient and excessive maternal weight gain during pregnancy. J Acad Nutr Dietetics, 100(3), 353.
Tielemans, M. J., Erler, N. S., Leermakers, E. T., van den Broek, M., Jaddoe, V. W., Steegers, E. A., et al. (2015). A priori and a posteriori dietary patterns during pregnancy and gestational weight gain: the generation R study. Nutrients, 7(11), 9383–9399. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7115476.
Tinius, R., Nagpal, T. S., Edens, K., Duchette, C., & Blankenship, M. (2020). Exploring beliefs about exercise among pregnant women in rural communities. J Midwifery Women's Health, 65(4), 538–545.
Tomeo, C. A., Rich-Edwards, J. W., Michels, K. B., Berkey, C. S., Hunter, D. J., Frazier, A. L., et al. (1999). Reproducibility and validity of maternal recall of pregnancy-related events. Epidemiology, 10, 774–777.
Tovar, A., Chasan-Taber, L., Bermudez, O. I., Hyatt, R. R., & Must, A. (2010). Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding weight gain during pregnancy among Hispanic women. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 14(6), 938–949. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-009-0524-8.
van der Wijden, C. L., Steinbach, S., van der Ploeg, H. P., van Mechelen, W., & van Poppel, M. N. (2014). A longitudinal study on the relationship between eating style and gestational weight gain. Appetite, 83, 304–308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.09.001.
Vanstone, M., Kandasamy, S., Giacomini, M., De Jean, D., & McDonald, S. D. (2017). Pregnant women's perceptions of gestational weight gain: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of qualitative research. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 13(4), e12374. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12374.
Weeks, A., Halili, L., Liu, R. H., Deonandan, R., & Adamo, K. B. (2020). Gestational weight gain counselling gaps as perceived by pregnant women and new mothers: findings from the electronic maternal health survey. Women and Birth: Journal of the Australian College of Midwives, 33(1), e88–e94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2019.02.005.
Weeks, A., Liu, R. H., Ferraro, Z. M., Deonandan, R., & Adamo, K. B. (2018). Inconsistent weight communication among prenatal healthcare providers and patients: a narrative review. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey, 73(8), 423–432. https://doi.org/10.1097/OGX.0000000000000588.
Zanotti, J., Capp, E., & Wender, M. C. O. (2015). Factors associated with postpartum weight retention in a Brazilian cohort. Rev Brasilde Ginecol Obstetr, 37(4), 164–171.
The authors would like to thank all the women who contributed taking the time to complete the Electronic Maternal health survey, their participation is highly valued by the scientific research community.
KBA is supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). TSN is funded by a Mitacs Post-Doctoral Fellowship in partnership with The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Souza, S.C.S., da Silva, D.F., Nagpal, T.S. et al. Eating Habits, Advice from Family/Friends, and Limited Personal Effort May Increase the Likelihood of Gaining Outside Gestational Weight Gain Recommendations. Matern Child Health J 24, 1473–1481 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-020-03007-0
- Weight gain
- Feeding behaviour