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Adverse perinatal events and maternal interpregnancy weight change: a population-based observational study


Objective — Mothers whose newborn experiences adversity may neglect their own health to care for their affected infant or following a perinatal death. Weight gain after pregnancy is one measure of maternal self-care. We measured interpregnancy weight gain among women whose child had an adverse perinatal event.

Methods — This population-based observational study included 192 154 primigravid women with two consecutive singleton births in Ontario, Canada. Outcomes included net weight gain, and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) of moving to a higher body mass index (BMI) category between pregnancies, comparing women whose child did versus did not experience either a perinatal death, prematurity, severe neonatal morbidity, major congenital anomaly, or severe neurologic impairment.

Results — Perinatal death was associated with a +3.5 kg (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.1–4.9) net higher maternal weight gain in the subsequent pregnancy. Relative to term births, preterm birth <32 weeks (+3.2 kg, 95% CI: 1.9–4.6), 32–33 weeks (+1.8 kg, 95% CI: 0.7–2.8) and 34–36 weeks (+0.9 kg, 95% CI: 0.6–1.3) were associated with higher net weight gain. Having an infant with severe neonatal morbidity was associated with a +1.2 kg (95% CI: 0.3–2.1) weight gain. Likewise, the aOR of moving to a higher BMI category was 1.27 (95% CI, 1.14–1.42) following a perinatal death, 1.21 (95% CI: 1.04–1.41) after a preterm birth <32 weeks, and 1.11 (95% CI: 1.02–1.22) with severe neonatal morbidity.

Conclusion — Greater interpregnancy weight gain, and movement to a higher BMI category, are each more likely in a woman whose first-born was affected by certain major adverse perinatal events.



Cohen E, Fu L, Brown HK, Grandi SM, Boblitz A, Fang J, Austin PC, Nathwani AA, Szentkúti P, Horváth-Puhó E, Sørensen HT, Ray JG. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2023; Dec 15 [Epub ahead of print].

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