BACKGROUND: Maternal gestational weight gain (GWG) is a risk factor for the development of overweight in her child. It is unknown whether GWG programs the child’s health or whether GWG indicates a shared familial lifestyle during childhood. To disentangle these influences, we studied the association of GWG and postdelivery maternal weight change simultaneously with child’s weight development.
METHODS: We used data from 3367 children participating in a birth cohort that started in 1996 in the Netherlands. Weight and height were self-reported. GWG was categorized as “inadequate,” “adequate,” and “excessive.” Multivariable regression and mixed models were used to study maternal and child weight changes.
RESULTS: Children of mothers with excessive GWG had a higher BMI z score and overweight prevalence (odds ratio [OR] 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99 to 1.46) throughout childhood. Children of mothers with a high (≥1 kg/year) postdelivery weight gain had a 0.14 (95% CI, −0.08 to 0.36) higher change in BMI z score between age 1 and 14 years than children of mothers with a low (<0.5 kg/year) postdelivery weight gain. Children of mothers with excessive GWG in combination with a high postdelivery weight gain had the highest BMI z score and overweight risk at age 14 years (OR 3.53; 95% CI, 1.70 to 7.33).
CONCLUSIONS: Maternal GWG and postdelivery weight gain contribute to child’s weight development up to adolescence independently.
- Accepted August 25, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics