Maternal Factors Associated with Smoking and Inappropriate Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Richard May*
Biology Department, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520, USA

© 2009© 2009 Richard May

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Biology Department, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520, USA; Tel: 541-552-6867; Fax: 541-552-6415; E-mail:


This study was designed to identify maternal characteristics associated with smoking during pregnancy and inappropriate gestational weight gain. Data were collected retrospectively from records of 252 women enrolled in the Siouxland WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program in Sioux City, Iowa. Twenty-three percent of women reported smoking during pregnancy. Forty-four percent of women gained more weight than recommended during pregnancy and 21 percent gained less than recommended.

Maternal demographic characteristics were tested as predictors of inappropriate gestational weight gain and smoking using logistic regression analysis. Adjusted odds ratios indicated that smoking was predicted by lower income, being unmarried, white (non-Hispanic) ethnicity, and living with another smoker. Excess pregnancy weight gain was predicted by white ethnicity, primigravid status, and being overweight (but not obese) before pregnancy. Risk of smoking and excess weight gain was highest among women with multiple identified risk factors. Smoking and excess gestational weight gain are both common in this low-income population but have different patterns of demographic risk.