Pattern of Weight Change From Pregnancy to Six Months Postpartum: A Latent Growth Model Approach

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Ching-Fang Lee, MSN
Department of Nursing, Oriental Institute of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan
Li-Yin Chien, ScD
Institute of Clinical and Community Health Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
Fang-Ming Hwang, PhD
Department of Education, National Chia-yi University, Taiwan, Chia-yi, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will able to understand the trajectory of weight change pattern follow from pregnancy and postpartum over a 6 months period

Learning Objective 2: The learner will able to understand the variables of demographic and perinatal variables to predict initial body weight and weight change with time

Purpose: The objectives of this study were to describe the trajectory of weight change pattern from pre-pregnancy to 6 months postpartum and to examine demographic and perinatal variables that predict the weight change using latent growth model (LGM).

Methods: The study participants were 120 women living in the Taipei area. This study applied a longitudinal design. Body weight of the study women was measured at 8 time points.

Results: After adjustment for measurement errors, the LGM results showed that adjusted pre-pregnancy weight being 52.57 kg. Body weight changed significantly with time. When the growth rate between first trimester and pre-pregnancy was set to 1, the body weight change rate was 2.20 during the second trimester, 2.14 during the third trimester, -2.90 during the period from third trimester to 2 to 3 week postpartum, -0.08 during the period from 2 to 3 week to 4 to 5 weeks postpartum, -0.37 during the period from 4 to 5 weeks to 11 to 12 weeks postpartum, and -0.65 during the period from 11 to 12 weeks to 24 to 25 weeks postpartum. In average, body weight increased 26.54% (13.95 kg) during the pregnancy period and body weight remained 6.26% (3.29 kg) higher at 24-25 weeks postpartum. In terms of factors related to body weight, age was positively associated with pre-pregnancy body weight. Parity and infant birthweight were negatively associated with change of body weight.

Conclusion: We found that weight change from pregnancy to postpartum followed a pattern that could be specified using LGM approach. Our study women had a higher gestational weight gains than recommendations in Taiwan. More than 6% weight retention was shown at six months postpartum. There is a need to develop weight management program for childbearing women.