Pattern And Variability Of Pregnancyrelated Weight Gains

Eat Stop Eat

Best Weight Loss Programs That Work

Get Instant Access

Overall, robust longitudinal studies suggest that women experience average long-term weight gains of up to 3 kg in association with pregnancy. However, the pattern of weight change after pregnancy is not well documented and varies considerably between women.

Figure 20.3 shows the weight development of 1423 Swedish women from before pregnancy until 12 months postpartum (54). This graph shows the classical pattern of weight gain during pregnancy. After delivery, body weight falls until it begins to plateau-off at around 5-6 months postpartum. However, this overall picture disguises the marked differences in patterns of weight change that are observed between different women. A number of studies have found that pregnancy-related weight gains do not simply result from failing to lose weight retained following delivery, but that they also result from gaining additional weight after the baby is born (47,54,62,63,65). In a recent study (65), more than 60% of mothers reported returning to their pre-pregnant weight following pregnancy, al-

Figure 20.3 Body weight development of 1423 women in the Stockholm pregnancy and weight development study from pregnancy until 12 months postpartum. Data for mean values + SD at conception, delivery, and 2.5, 6 and 12 months postpartum are shown; O = mean data from women weighed that particular week. From Ohlin and Rossner, (54)

Figure 20.3 Body weight development of 1423 women in the Stockholm pregnancy and weight development study from pregnancy until 12 months postpartum. Data for mean values + SD at conception, delivery, and 2.5, 6 and 12 months postpartum are shown; O = mean data from women weighed that particular week. From Ohlin and Rossner, (54)

though more than half of these women said that they had gained additional weight during the post-partum period, a phenomenon reported by 57% of the entire sample. While a component of this weight increase undoubtedly reflects the weight gain associated with ageing, it is likely that some of the additional weight gain results from changes in lifestyle that accompany pregnancy and motherhood which predispose some women to gain weight (65,66).

For the majority of women, pregnancy does not trigger obesity and most women can expect to regain their pre-pregnant weight within a year or so after the birth of their child (50,63,65). However, average weight gains mask the fact that around 10-15% of women remain at least 5 kg heavier after pregnancy than they were before conception (49,50,54,65). In a contemporary study of 243 first time mothers (50), no significant increase in mean maternal body weight was observed following pregnancy, yet the 10% of women with the highest pregnancy-related weight gains were nearly 9 kg (8.95 kg) heavier at least 1 year after delivery (Figure 20.4). Long-term weight changes following pregnancy have been shown to range from a weight loss of 13.6 kg to a weight gain of 29.5 kg (45,65,67), and this variability is a remarkably consistent feature of pregnancy-related weight changes. Such variability suggests that only certain women are at risk of maternal obesity.

Figure 20.4 The distribution (decentiles) of inter-pregnancy weight change, after accounting for the effect of ageing at an estimated rate of 0.078 kg/month, among a group of 243 first time mothers (50). Error bars show 95% confidence intervals and sample size is shown in parentheses

Was this article helpful?

0 0
The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

Looking To Lose Weight But Not Starve Yourself? Revealed! The Secret To Long Life And Good Health Is In The Foods We Eat. Download today To Discover The Reason Why The Mediterranean Diet Will Help You Have Great Health, Enjoy Life And Live Longer.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment