Inadequate Weight Gain During Pregnancy Can Increase the Risk of Infant Mortality

A new study by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health finds that woman who gain too little weight during pregnancy give birth to babies that are more likely to die within the first year of life. The study of more than 159,000 women found that those who gained too little weight were more likely to give birth to infants that died in their first year than woman who a normal amount of weight or women who gained an excessive amount of weight.

The results of the study found that the infant mortality rate of women who gained too few pounds during pregnancy was more than three times as great as for women who had normal weight gain. The study found that nearly one quarter of the women did not gain the recommended level of weight.

hofferthDr. Sandra Hofferth, professor of family science at the University of Maryland and the senior author of the study, stated, “It is important that childbearing women have pregnancy weight gain goals that are specific to their individual body mass index.”

Dr. Hofferth is a graduate of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The research, “Gestational Weight Gain and Risk of Infant Death in the United States,” was published on the website of the American Journal of Public Health. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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