The effectiveness of lifestyle intervention in early pregnancy to prevent gestational diabetes mellitus in Chinese overweight and obese women: A quasi-experimental study.

Research paper by Yu Y Sun, Hong H Zhao

Indexed on: 20 Apr '16Published on: 20 Apr '16Published in: Applied Nursing Research


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one of the most common complications of pregnancy and is associated with substantially elevated risk of adverse health outcomes for both mothers and offspring. This quasi-experimental trial was conducted to assess whether a lifestyle intervention in early pregnancy can reduce the incidence of GDM and excessive gestational weight (GWG) gain among Chinese overweight women.Convenience samples of 74 women in gestational weeks 8-12 with a BMI ≥24kg/m(2) were enrolled. They were divided into intervention (N=37) or control group (N=37) according to the time sequence of seeing the doctor. The intervention group was provided with exercise, dietary, weight gain counseling and detailed plans at weeks 8-12 and every month in the second trimester. In addition, each counseling session included a personalized feedback based on their 5-day-records. Follow-up phone calls or emails were conducted every week between antenatal visits. The control group was just provided with exercise, dietary and weight gain counseling at weeks 8-12, besides the usual health education provided at the O&G outpatient department.The lifestyle intervention resulted in a lower incidence of gestational diabetes in the intervention group (9/32, 28.1%) compared with the control group (19/34, 55.9%), p=0.023. Women in the intervention group gained much less weight (6.86±2.31 versus 10.08±3.84kg, p=0.000) at the end of second trimester.Lifestyle intervention in early pregnancy can reduce the incidence of GDM and prevent excessive maternal weight gain in overweight and obese pregnant women.