Maternal anthropometrics are associated with fetal size in different periods of pregnancy and at birth. The Generation R Study

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Abstract

Objective

We aimed to examine the associations of maternal anthropometrics with fetal weight measured in different periods of pregnancy and with birth outcomes.

Design

Population-based birth cohort study.

Setting

Data of pregnant women and their children in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Population

In 8541 mothers, height, prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) and gestational weight gain were available.

Methods

Fetal growth was measured by ultrasound in mid- and late pregnancy. Regression analyses were used to assess the impact of maternal anthropometrics on fetal weight and birth outcomes.

Main outcome measures

Fetal weight and birth outcomes: weight (grams) and the risks of small (<5th percentile) and large (>95th percentile) size for gestational age at birth.

Results

Maternal BMI in pregnancy was positively associated with estimated fetal weight during pregnancy. The effect estimates increased with advancing gestational age. All maternal anthropometrics were positively associated with fetal size (P-values for trend <0.01). Mothers with both their prepregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain quartile in the lowest and highest quartiles showed the highest risks of having a small and large size for gestational age child at birth, respectively. The effect of prepregnancy BMI was strongly modified by gestational weight gain.

Conclusions

Fetal growth is positively affected by maternal BMI during pregnancy. Maternal height, prepregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain are all associated with increased risks of small and large size for gestational age at birth in the offspring, with an increased effect when combined.

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