Inter-Pregnancy Weight Change and the Risk of Recurrent Pregnancy Complications

Jacqueline M. Wallace, Sohinee Bhattacharya, Doris M. Campbell, Graham W. Horgan

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27 Citations (Scopus)
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Women with specific adverse pregnancy outcomes in their first pregnancy may be receptive to inter-pregnancy weight management guidance aimed at preventing these complications reoccurring in subsequent pregnancies. Thus the association between inter-pregnancy weight change and the risk of recurrent pregnancy complications at the second pregnancy was investigated in a retrospective cohort study of 24,520 women with their first-ever and second consecutive deliveries in Aberdeen using logistic regression. Compared with women who were weight stable, weight loss (>2BMI units) between pregnancies was associated with an increased risk of recurrent small for gestational age (SGA) birth and elective Cesarean-section, and was protective against recurrent pre-eclampsia, placental oversize and large for gestational age (LGA) birth. Conversely weight gain (>2BMI units) between pregnancies increased the risk of recurrent gestational hypertension, placental oversize and LGA birth and was protective against recurrent low placental weight and SGA birth. The relationships between weight gain, and placental and birth weight extremes were evident only in women with a healthy weight at first pregnancy (BMI<25units), while that between weight gain and the increased risk of recurrent gestational hypertension was largely independent of first pregnancy BMI. No relationship was detected between inter-pregnancy weight change and the risk of recurrent spontaneous preterm delivery, labour induction, instrumental delivery, emergency Cesarean-section or postpartum hemorrhage. Therefor inter-pregnancy weight change impacts the risk of recurrent hypertensive disorders, SGA and LGA birth and women with a prior history of these specific conditions may benefit from targeted nutritional advice to either lose or gain weight after their first pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0154812
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding: Funded by the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS, Theme 7: Diet and Health). The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of this manuscript.

Data Availability: All relevant data are owned by the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank. Interested parties may request access to the data by following the instructions at


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