03 Jun USPSTF: All Pregnant People Should Receive Counseling on Healthy Weight Gain
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chien-Wen Tseng, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.E.E.
The Hawaii Medical Service Association Endowed Chair
Health Services and Quality Research
Professor, and Associate Research Director
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Gaining weight during pregnancy is natural but gaining too little or too much weight can be harmful for pregnant people and their babies. For the first time, the Task Force reviewed the evidence and found that counseling pregnant people on healthy weight gain during pregnancy can lower their risk for diabetes during pregnancy, emergency cesarean deliveries, and babies born with a birth weight that is too high. Pregnant people may not know what amount of weight gain is healthy during pregnancy, or how weight gain can affect their pregnancy and baby.
We recommend that clinicians offer all pregnant people counseling on healthy weight gain throughout their pregnancy for healthier, safer pregnancies.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Clinicians should know it is important to offer pregnant people regular counseling about healthy weight gain in pregnancy to support healthier pregnancies and babies. Behavioral counseling on healthy weight gain in pregnancy can be incorporated into regular prenatal care and can include support focused on nutrition, physical activity, lifestyle and behavior change, and serial weight measurements. Studies show that interventions can be delivered individually or in groups, and by computer, telephone, or in face-to-face settings. Additionally, recurring counseling interventions were more effective than one-time sessions. Given the variety of intervention approaches, clinicians should talk to their patients to identify the method that works best for them.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We know that counseling to support healthy weight gain in pregnancy is effective and can improve some health outcomes such as gestational diabetes and unscheduled cesarean deliveries. However, more research is needed to determine which counseling strategies work best, including the type of counseling, number and length of counseling sessions, and how to incorporate counseling into routine prenatal care. More research is also needed to understand how counseling affects other important outcomes, such as hypertension in pregnancy and preterm birth, as well as whether interventions should be tailored to specific populations, and whether there are any potential harms of counseling.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: The Task Force recognizes that this recommendation offers a chance to improve the health of pregnant people and their babies across the nation. Our review of the research identified a variety of effective interventions, so clinicians and patients should work together to identify how best to support each pregnant person, based on the patient’s individual circumstances.
Final Recommendation Statement
Healthy Weight and Weight Gain In Pregnancy: Behavioral Counseling Interventions
May 25, 2021
Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Behavioral Counseling Interventions for Healthy Weight and Weight Gain in Pregnancy: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2021;325(20):2087–2093. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6949
Jin J. Behavioral Interventions for Healthy Weight Gain During Pregnancy. JAMA. 2021;325(20):2126. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.7530
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