Gestational Weight Gain by Maternal Pre-pregnancy BMI and Childhood Problem Behaviours in School-Age Years: A Pooled Analysis of Two European Birth Cohorts

Published on Oct 1, 2020in Maternal and Child Health Journal2.276
· DOI :10.1007/S10995-020-02962-Y
Elena C. Tore2
Estimated H-index: 2
(University of Birmingham),
Evangelia Antoniou12
Estimated H-index: 12
(PHRI: Public Health Research Institute)
+ 10 AuthorsMaurice P. Zeegers69
Estimated H-index: 69
(UM: Maastricht University)
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES Maternal pre-pregnancy weight is known to affect foetal development. However, it has not yet been clarified if gestational weight gain is associated with childhood behavioural development. METHODS We performed a pooled analysis of two prospective birth cohorts to investigate the association between gestational weight gain and childhood problem behaviours, and the effect modification of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI. In total, 378 mother-child pairs from the Maastricht Essential Fatty Acids Birth cohort (MEFAB) and 414 pairs from the Rhea Mother-Child cohort were followed up from early pregnancy to 6-7 years post-partum. At follow up, parents assessed their children's behaviour, measured as total problems, internalizing and externalizing behaviours, with the Child Behaviour Checklist. We computed cohort- and subject-specific gestational weight gain trajectories using mixed-effect linear regression models. Fractional polynomial regressions, stratified by maternal pre-pregnancy BMI status, were then used to examine the association between gestational weight gain and childhood problem behaviours. RESULTS In the pre-pregnancy overweight/obese group, greater gestational weight gain was associated with higher problem behaviours. On average, children of women with overweight/obesity who gained 0.5 kg/week scored 25 points higher (on a 0-100 scale) in total problems and internalizing behaviours, and about 18 points higher in externalizing behaviours than children whose mothers gained 0.2 kg/week. Inconsistent results were found in the pre-pregnancy normal weight group. CONCLUSIONS FOR PRACTICE Excessive gestational weight gain in women with pre-pregnancy overweight/obesity might increase problem behaviours in school-age children. Particular attention should be granted to avoid excessive weight gain in women with a pre-pregnancy overweight or obesity.
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An accurate estimate of preconception weight is necessary for providing a gestational weight gain range based on the Institute of Medicine’s guidelines; however, an accurate and proximal preconception weight is not available for most women. We examined the validity of first trimester weights for estimating preconception body mass index category. Under identical measurement conditions, preconception weight and two first trimester weights (i.e., 4–10 and 12 weeks gestation) were obtained (n = 43)....
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