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Publication Date

December 1, 2015


Journal Article

Predictors of Gestational Weight Gain in Mexican American Women in Los Angeles

By Mielke R, Gorman N

Background and Significance: Extremes of gestational weight gain (GWG) are associated with newborn and pregnancy complications, postpartum obesity and chronic illnesses. In the United States, Mexican American women are the largest subgroup of Hispanics but have been studied least often. The purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence, characteristics, and predictors of GWG in Mexican American women.

Methods: A retrospective, correlational design used data from charts (n=684) in a federally qualified health center in Los Angeles. Prevalence of GWG was inadequate, 22%; adequate, 33%; and excessive, 45%. Risk factors for excessive GWG were hypertension (p = .04), overweight (p = .00), or obese pre-pregnancy BMI (p = .01). Conversely, women who had gestational diabetes (p = .02), ate more snacks (p = .01), were multiparous (p = .03), and less acculturated (p = .03) experienced less excessive gain.

Conclusions: Efforts to prevent excessive GWG in Mexican Americans should be targeted to women having their first baby and those with high pre-pregnancy BMI. One strategy may be recommending diet/exercise similar to that used in women with gestational diabetes. For women who are less acculturated and/or who are multiparous, strategies that will minimize inadequate GWG may improve newborn outcomes.

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Date Added
November 14, 2017

Mielke R, Gorman N (2015) 'Predictors of Gestational Weight Gain in Mexican American Women in Los Angeles'. Californian Journal of Health Promotion: Vol. 13, Issue 3, pp. 1-18. Available online: http://www.cjhp.org/volume13Issue3_2015/documents/1-18_Mielke_CJHP2015_Issue3.pdf