Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Judy McCook

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Beth Bailey, Audry Greenwell


Inappropriate weight gain during pregnancy is a widespread problem associated with adverse maternal and newborn outcomes. This study’s objective was to examine the impact of gestational weight gain (GWG) above and below the Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines on pregnancy, delivery, and newborn outcomes in a rural population. Women were recruited at the first prenatal visit, and data was collected through research interviews and examination of prenatal and delivery medical records. Prepregnancy weight and weight at delivery were obtained, and the final sample (n=913) was restricted to women with singleton pregnancies. Participants were categorized by prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and GWG above, within, or below IOM guidelines based on gestational length. After controlling for pregnancy smoking, odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to identify significant outcomes associated with high or low weight gain, with normal GWG as the control. Of the 913 participants, 208 (22.8%) had inadequate GWG, 255 (27.9%) gained within the recommended range, and 450 (49.3%) gained more than recommended. Inadequate GWG was associated with delivery before 39 weeks, oxygen administration to the infant, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and a hospital stay longer than seven days. Excess GWG was associated with preeclampsia, pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), gestational diabetes mellitus, cesarean delivery, labor longer than 12 hours, macrosomia, and large-for-gestational-age (LGA) infants. GWG outside IOM guidelines was prevalent in the sample and associated with numerous adverse outcomes, suggesting a need for increased awareness and improved management of GWG in this population.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

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Creative Commons License
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