National WIC Association

Maternal prepregnant body mass index and weight gain related to low birthweight in South Carolina

Hulsey TC, et al. Maternal prepregnant body mass index and weight gain related to low birthweight in South Carolina. South Med J. Apr 2005;98(4):411-415.

This study described the proportion of low-birthweight births that might be prevented by programs targeting maternal body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy and/or weight gain during pregnancy. The researchers found that 19% of the very low-birthweight births in South Carolina related to either underweight or overweight BMI at conception. In addition, 8% of the very low-birthweight births were attributed to inadequate weight gain during pregnancy. The authors concluded that appropriate maternal BMI at conception, in conjunction with adequate weight gain during pregnancy, might substantially reduce the number of low-birthweight deliveries.