Women with excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) are at risk for poor psychosocial well-being and postpartum weight retention (PPWR). Scant research has examined longitudinal interrelations of GWG, psychosocial factors, and PPWR. This study examined: (a) pre-pregnancy weight status (ie, normal, overweight, obesity) differences in PPWR and its psychosocial determinants (perceived social support, perceived stress, depression) in women with excessive GWG (ie, above 2009 Institute of Medicine guidelines); and (b) whether GWG mediated associations between psychosocial determinants and PPWR. Women (N = 1352) reported third trimester perceived social support, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms, GWG, and 6- and 12-month PPWR via telephone interviews. Multivariate ANOVA analyses showed women with normal weight had higher 6-month PPWR than women with obesity; univariate ANOVA showed no group differences in psychosocial factors. Hayes mediation analyses indicated that GWG mediated the association between perceived stress and PPWR in women with overweight but not women with normal weight or obesity; perceived stress predicted GWG, and in turn, PPWR. Prenatal perceived stress may be a modifiable target of GWG and PPWR. Future research is needed to examine the utility of tailoring perinatal weight regulation interventions to reduce perceived stress in pregnant women with overweight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12446
JournalClinical obesity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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