Study reveals COVID-19’s impact on pregnancy weight gain patterns


In a current examine revealed in JAMA Network Open, researchers consider coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19)-associated adjustments in gestational weight achieve (GWG) patterns by the timing of conception and supply.

Examine: Trends in Gestational Weight Gain in Louisiana, March 2019 to March 2022. Picture Credit score: puhhha /


Weight achieve throughout being pregnant is essential for each maternal and neonatal well being. Most pregnant girls purchase an excessive amount of weight, which may have unfavorable repercussions, together with an elevated danger of heart problems.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the widespread implementation of social distance measures, along with medical facilities implementing protocols to attenuate the unfold of the extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In consequence, a number of people reported elevated inactive time, antagonistic adjustments in consuming habits, and worsened anxiousness and unhappiness.

The pandemic had each direct and oblique penalties on the day by day lives of pregnant girls, akin to elevated melancholy, fewer prenatal and postpartum visits, and an increase in early being pregnant outcomes. The common GWG additionally rose through the COVID-19 pandemic; nonetheless, it stays unclear whether or not these altered pregnancy-related outcomes have reverted to pre-pandemic ranges.

Concerning the examine

Researchers examined GWG route and consistency by conception and supply in annual increments through the first and second COVID-19 waves. Any adjustments in GWG in people who had pregnancies earlier than and through COVID-19 have been additionally decided.

To this finish, beginning certificates and delivery-related data have been retrospectively reviewed between 2019 and 2022. Digital medical data have been obtained from a big Louisiana maternity care hospital.

The examine included all girls between 12 and 50 years of age who delivered infants between March 2019 and March 2022. Info was analyzed between October 2022 and July 2023.

The examine exposures have been supply dates and conception within the pre-pandemic interval between March 2019 and March 2020, through the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic between March 2020 and March 2021, in addition to the late COVID-19 interval between March 2021 and March 2022.

In accordance with the Institute of Medication pointers revealed in 2009, GWG, outlined as complete GWG from the estimated conception date to the supply date, was the first examine consequence. Log-linear-type regression fashions and generalized estimating equations (GEEs) have been used for the evaluation, and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) have been decided.

Among the covariates that have been adjusted for within the evaluation included age of the pregnant girl, instructional standing, participant-documented ethnicity and race, marital standing, insurance coverage sort, job standing, parity, alcohol use, and smoking habits.

Examine findings

Of the 23,012 deliveries included within the evaluation, 51% have been amongst white girls and 38% amongst black girls. The imply maternal age was 29 years, whereas the imply pre-pregnancy weight was 75 kg.

About 42% of people gained extra weight than advisable through the interval previous the COVID-19 pandemic. Comparatively, 45% and 44% of girls exceeded advisable GWG ranges through the COVID-19 peak and late COVID-19 interval, respectively.

As in comparison with girls who delivered earlier than the beginning of the pandemic, girls gained extra weight throughout gestation once they delivered through the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic or late pandemic interval.

Defining cohorts by the date of conception, girls who conceived earlier than the pandemic however delivered after the COVID-19 pandemic started had increased GWG than girls whose being pregnant interval was accomplished earlier than the pandemic. GWG was decrease amongst pregnancies conceived after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and through the late COVID-19 interval; nonetheless, many of those girls started being pregnant with a barely increased weight.

Inspecting the imply GWG by month indicated a minor drop throughout March 2020 and a rise in imply GWG within the subsequent 12 months. Girls with two pregnancies have been extra prone to achieve extra weight than the advisable ranges through the late being pregnant interval compared to their pre-COVID-19 being pregnant; nonetheless, this relationship weakened after covariate adjustment.


In deliveries through the later section of COVID-19, a rise in GWG was just like pre-pandemic ranges; nonetheless, many ladies started their pregnancies at heavier weights than these recorded earlier than the beginning of the pandemic.

The examine findings point out that GWG plateaued through the later levels of the pandemic. Adjustments in pre-pregnancy weight and GWG have been among the many alterations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with people who have been chubby or overweight being probably the most affected.

Journal reference:

  • Harville, E. W., Kracht, C. L., Cohen, N. L., et al. (2023). Developments in Gestational Weight Acquire in Louisiana, March 2019 to March 2022. JAMA Community Open 6(8). doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.31277
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