Postpartum weight trajectories in overweight and lean women
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Midwifery: an international journal. - Manchester
, p. 1-19
University of Antwerp
Background Overweight and obesity in women of reproductive age are increasing and are often linked with excessive weight gain in pregnancy and weight retention after birth. Studies on spontaneous maternal weight trajectory after delivery are scarce. Objective We describe women's spontaneous weight trajectory during the first six weeks of the postpartum period and its relationship between Body Mass Index and socio-demographical, behavioural and psychological variables. Design Data from 212 women who gave birth in three regional hospitals were collected prospectively between December 2015 and February 2016. Potential determinants were examined during pregnancy and the postpartum period at four and six weeks after delivery. Descriptive statistics and a linear multivariate regression model were used. Early postnatal weight retention (PWR) was defined as the difference between the maternal weight six weeks after delivery and the pre-pregnancy weight (kg). Measurements and findings Mean PWR at six weeks after delivery was 3.3 kg (SD 4.1), with a range between −7 and +16.2 kg; 81% reported some weight retention (PWR > 0 kg), and 36% showed a high weight retention (PWR ≥ 5 kg). Women with a BMI <25 kg/m² showed a significantly higher mean PWR six weeks after delivery compared to women with a BMI ≥25 kg/m² (4.0 kg vs. 1.6 kg, p = 0.002). There was a significant correlation between maternal weight retention and gestational weight gain (GWG) (B = 0.65, p<0.001) and pre-pregnancy body mass index <25 kg/m² (B = 1.12, p=0.017), six weeks after delivery.