Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Background: Adequate gestational weight gain (GWG) is essential for healthy fetal growth. However, in low- and middle-income countries, where malnutrition is prevalent, little information is available about GWG and how it might be modified by nutritional status and interventions.
Objective: We describe GWG and its associations with fetal growth and birth outcomes. We also examined the extent to which prepregnancy BMI, and preconception and early weight gain modify GWG, and its effects on fetal growth.
Methods: This was a secondary analysis of the Women First Trial, including 2331 women within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guatemala, India, and Pakistan, evaluating weight gain from enrollment to ∼12 weeks of gestation and GWG velocity (kg/wk) between ∼12 and 32 weeks of gestation. Adequacy of GWG velocity was compared with 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations, according to maternal BMI. Early weight gain (EWG), GWG velocity, and adequacy of GWG were related to birth outcomes using linear and Poisson models.
Results: GWG velocity (mean ± SD) varied by site: 0.22 ± 0.15 kg/wk in DRC, 0.30 ± 0.23 in Pakistan, 0.31 ± 0.14 in Guatemala, and 0.39 ± 0.13 in India, (P Conclusions: These results underscore the importance of adequate maternal nutrition both before and during pregnancy as a potentially modifiable factor to improve fetal growth.


Volume, issue, and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher

Publication (Name of Journal)

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.