TABLE 2-3Data Required to Assess Trends in Pregnancy-Related Maternal Weight and the Ideal and Practical Methods of Measurement and Acquisition

Required DataMethod of Measurement and Acquisition
Prepregnancy weightMeasureda at a preconceptional visitRecalled at the first prenatal visit using a standardized question
Prepregnancy heightMeasureda at the first prenatal visit
Gestational weight gainTotal gain: last measured available weight abstracted from clinical recordsTotal gain: maternal recall of last available weight
Pattern of gain: requires trimester-specific or midpregnancy weight abstractions
Gestational age at last available weightbAbstracted from clinical records
Postpartum weightTotal retention: measured maternal weight abstracted from clinical recordsTotal retention: recalled maternal postpartum weight
Measured longitudinally in nonpregnant womenCross-sectionally in nonpregnant women
Time: serial measurements 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months after deliveryTime: 3, 6, 9, 12, or 18 months after delivery

All weight and height measurements should be performed in light clothing without shoes.


The gestational age at delivery may vary substantially from the gestational age at the last prenatal visit. Thus, misclassification may result if the gestational age at delivery is used in combination with weight at the last prenatal visit to determine weight gain adequacy.

From: 2, Descriptive Epidemiology and Trends

Cover of Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines.
Institute of Medicine (US) and National Research Council (US) Committee to Reexamine IOM Pregnancy Weight Guidelines; Rasmussen KM, Yaktine AL, editors.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2009.
Copyright © 2009, National Academy of Sciences.

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