More than two-thirds of women of childbearing age are overweight or obese, and these numbers have increased dramatically in the last few decades in Canada. Further, average weight gain in pregnancy has increased over the last four decades from 10 to 15 kg and a significant number of women are exceeding pregnancy weight gain recommendations.
The increasing prevalence of preconception overweight and obesity and excessive gestational weight gain is a significant risk factor for adverse maternal and infant outcomes. The risks may involve the pregnancy, birth, and later life for both the woman and her infant. One important downstream risk is childhood obesity.
Weight management strategies are increasingly focusing on pregnancy as a potentially key time to target weight management to address the rapidly increasing prevalence of obesity in the population. This review of various systematic review and meta-analysis studies examining the effectiveness of weight management interventions during pregnancy discusses potential strategies to enable more effective dialogue between pregnant women and healthcare providers to ensure optimal health and wellness for mom and baby.