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Matern Child Health J. 2012 Aug;16(6):1215-23. doi: 10.1007/s10995-011-0846-1.

Trimester of maternal gestational weight gain and offspring body weight at birth and age five.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, 103 Haviland Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


To investigate associations of trimester-specific GWG with fetal birth size and BMI at age 5 years. We examined 3,015 singleton births to women without pregnancy complications from the Child Health and Development Studies prospective cohort with measured weights during pregnancy. We used multivariable regression to examine the associations between total and trimester gestational weight gain (GWG) and birth weight for gestational age and child BMI outcomes, adjusting for maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, parity, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), and smoking; paternal overweight, gestational age, and infant sex. We explored differences in associations by maternal BMI and infant sex. GWG in all trimesters was significantly and independently associated with birth weight with associations stronger, though not significantly, in the second trimester. First trimester GWG was associated with child BMI outcomes (OR for child overweight = 1.05; 95% CI = 1.02, 1.09). Each kg of first trimester GWG was significantly associated with increased child BMI z-score in women of low (β = 0.099; 95% CI = 0.034, 0.163) and normal (β = 0.028; 95% CI = 0.012, 0.044), but not high pre-pregnancy BMI. GWG in all trimesters was associated with birth weight; only first trimester GWG was associated with child BMI. If replicated, this information could help specify recommendations for maternal GWG and elucidate mechanisms connecting GWG to child BMI.

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