Lifestyle changes safe, effective for curbing gestational weight gain in obese, overweight mothers
Behavioural lifestyle interventions, such as those focused on diet and physical activity, safely and effectively limit excess gestational weight gain (GWG) in overweight and obese pregnant women, a recent prospective meta-analysis has shown.
The study included 1,150 women who were randomly assigned to the lifestyle intervention (n=579; mean age 30.4±5.6 years) or standard care (n=571; mean age 30.5±5.7 years). Excess GWG per week was significantly less common in the former than in the latter group (61.8 percent vs 75.0 percent; odds ratio [OR], 0.52; 95 percent CI, 0.40–0.67).
Moreover, women who received the lifestyle intervention vs standard care demonstrated 1.6-kg less mean total GWG.
In terms of secondary outcomes, researchers reported that there were significantly more women in the intervention arm with GWG below the Institute of Medicine guidelines (20.6 percent vs 14.2 percent; OR, 1.65; 1.20–2.27).
Complications of pregnancy were rare. There were only 15 cases of placental abruption, nine of which were in the intervention group. Six participants reported severe anaemia, three each belonged in either arm. Preterm premature rupture of membranes occurred in 21 participants and was more common in the standard care group (n=13).
In contrast, all six cases of postpartum haemorrhage were reported in the intervention arm, as was the single case of pulmonary embolism.
While preterm birth prior to 37 weeks was comparable between the treatment groups (lifestyle intervention vs standard care: 5.1 percent vs 3.9 percent; OR, 1.32; 0.75–2.34), delivery before 28 weeks was significantly less common in the intervention group.