Inadequate weight gain among pregnant adolescents: Risk factors and relationship to infant birth weight

A. B. Berenson*, C. M. Wiemann, T. F. Rowe, V. I. Rickert, J. C. King, J. T. Van Winter, C. S. Stika, S. M. Mou, S. J. Fortunato, L. R. Matthews, L. Ogden, C. W. Schauberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to identify behavioral markers for inadequate weight gain (<20 pounds) during pregnancy among adolescents <18 years old. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 337 adolescents who were delivered of a term infant at our institution between March 10, 1992, and November 28, 1994 participated in this study. A comprehensive structured interview conducted at the first prenatal visit elicited demographic information and behavioral risk factors. Maternal weights, reproductive history, evidence of sexually transmitted disease, and infant birth weight were extracted from medical records. Logistic regression and χ2 analyses compared characteristics and infant birth weights between those who gained <20 pounds with those who gained ≤20 pounds. RESULTS: A total of 11.6% (39/337) of the total sample gained <20 pounds during the pregnancy. Adolescents who gained <20 pounds compared with ≤20 pounds were delivered of significantly lighter (2942 gm vs 3392 gm) infants and were more likely to be delivered of infants weighing <2500 gm (13% vs <1%). Stepwise logistic regression revealed that adolescents who were battered (odds ratio 5.3) or had a sexually transmitted disease (odds ratio 2.3) or an unplanned pregnancy (odds ratio 8.1) were at increased risk for insufficient weight gain during pregnancy. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that behavioral risk factors are important in the identification of adolescents at greatest risk for inadequate weight gain. Early identification during pregnancy is essential to modify nutritional practices and thus minimize poor obstetric outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1220-1227
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997


  • Adolescent pregnancy
  • Physical assault
  • Weight gain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Inadequate weight gain among pregnant adolescents: Risk factors and relationship to infant birth weight'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this