Integrating Obstetrical Care and WIC Nutritional Services to Address Maternal Obesity and Postpartum Weight Retention

Susan M. Gross, Marycatherine Augustyn, Janice L. Henderson, Khrysta Baig, Christie A. Williams, Bolanle Ajao, Patricia Bell-Waddy, David M. Paige

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: This pilot study evaluated a cost neutral, integrated Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) and obstetrical service model designed to prevent postpartum weight retention in obese women. Methods: A sample of women who received benefits from the Johns Hopkins (JH) WIC program and prenatal care from the JH Nutrition in Pregnancy Clinic, which provides obstetrical care for women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, participated in the WICNIP randomized clinical trial. Intervention participants received enhanced nutrition services and education at five visits and during one phone call between delivery and 6 months postpartum. Control participants received standard WIC services. Weight data was collected for all participants at multiple time points: pre-pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum at 4, 6 weeks, 4, and 6 months. Maternal socio-demographic factors, obesity class and the number of education contacts received were also recorded. Results: Fifty-three African-American women were randomized into the intervention and control groups. Intervention participants retained significantly less gestational weight gain than control participants (3.0 ± 11.8 vs. 12.6 ± 20.4, p < 0.05). In both groups, participants with Class III obesity retained significantly less weight than participants in Classes I and II (p = 0.02). Conclusions for Practice: An integrated WIC and obstetrical service model is feasible and can limit postpartum weight retention in obese women. Weight retention at 6 months postpartum between intervention and control participants was statistically significant. Further research should explore targeted interventions by obesity class to address weight retention for low-income, African American women who participate in WIC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-802
Number of pages9
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Gestational weight gain
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Postpartum weight retention
  • WIC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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