OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the average gestational weight gain and its relation with outcomes in pregnant women attending the Programa de Saúde da Família (Family Health Program) in Campina Grande in Paraíba, Brazil. METHODS: Through a prospective longitudinal study developed from March 2005 to March 2006, the gestational weight was estimated every four weeks from the 16th gestational week. The body mass index followed the Atalah criteria (1977) adopted by the Ministry of Health, and the average weight gain was evaluated according to recommendations by the Institute of Medicine (1990). RESULTS: The study involved 118 pregnant women with an average age of 23 years. The incidence of excessive weight gain through the second and third quarters was equal to 44% and 45% respectively. Gestational hypertension was detected in 8.5% of the samples and with a statistically significant association with the nutritional outset (p=0.02). No gestational diabetes case was registered, and 34% of the pregnant women underwent surgical deliveries. The initial nutritional state regarding overweight/obesity, as well excessive weight gain during the two quarters analyzed, showed a significant association with the post-delivery nutritional state (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: The high incidence of excessive gestational weight gain in the cohort analyzed and the association of initial overweight/obesity with outcomes for mothers are worrying and deserve the attention of the local health care system due to the implications both to mothers' and the fetus' health.
Overweight; Obesity; Gestational weight gain; Gestational outcomes