lines or weight loss in pregnancy contribute to antepartum or postpartum complications or longer-term maternal and fetal complications? How do these relationships vary by sociodemographic characteristics (i.e., race and age)?

  • KQ 4. What are the harms or benefits of offering the same weight gain recommendations to all pregnant women, irrespective of age and body weight considerations (e.g., pregravid weight, actual body weight at a particular time point, or optimal body weight)?

  • KQ 5. What are the anthropometric tools for determining adiposity and their appropriateness for the pregnancy state? What are the risks and benefits of measuring adiposity for (1) clinical management of weight gain during pregnancy and (2) evaluation of the relationship between weight gain and outcomes of pregnancy?

The review focused on screening studies from 1990 to October 2007 that were published in English, and excluded studies with low sample size (case series < 100 and cohorts < 40) or failure to control for pregravid weight. In total, 150 studies were systematically reviewed and each was rated on quality and used to assess the strength of evidence for each outcome. The report, including appendices and evidence tables, can be accessed and viewed in its entirety at Literature published outside of the scope of the report (prior to 1990 and after October 2007) are reviewed in Appendix C of this report. The methods and results and of the evidence review (Chapter 3 of the report) are provided below.


In this chapter, we document the procedures that the RTI International-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center (RTI-UNC EPC) used to develop this comprehensive evidence report on outcomes of maternal weight gain. The team was led by a senior health services researcher (Meera Viswanathan, PhD, Study Director), a senior epidemiologist (Anna Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, RD, Scientific Director), and a senior nurse-researcher (Merry-K Moos, FNP, MPH, co-Scientific Director).

We first describe our strategy for identifying articles relevant to our five key questions (KQs), our inclusion and exclusion criteria, and the process we used to abstract relevant information from the eligible articles and generate our evidence tables. We also discuss our criteria for grading the quality of individual articles and for rating the strength of the evidence as a whole. Finally, we explain the peer-review process.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement