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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2006 Jul-Aug;35(4):472-81.

Trajectory of weight changes in the first 6 weeks postpartum.

Author information

1
School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin 78701-1499, USA. lwalker@mail.nur.utexas.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the trajectory of postpartum weight changes and to examine associations between weight change in the first 6 weeks postpartum and demographic, clinical, psychosocial, and behavioral variables.

DESIGN:

Prospective, longitudinal design.

SETTING:

Community hospital and university research setting.

PARTICIPANTS:

26 low-income women (9 White, 8 Black, and 9 Hispanic) with uncomplicated term pregnancies.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Body mass index measured weekly.

RESULTS:

Among White women, body mass index decreased significantly for the first 3 weeks of the postpartum period. Black women experienced a significant reduction in body mass index for only the first 2 postpartum weeks. Similarly, the postpartum body mass index decreased for the first 2 weeks for Hispanic women. Prepregnancy body mass index and gestational weight gain each had a significant positive effect on postpartum body mass index. Perception of social support at 4 weeks had a significant positive effect on postpartum body mass index in Black women.

CONCLUSIONS:

The trajectory of weight change was nonlinear with large initial weight losses during the first 2 to 3 weeks postpartum followed by weight plateaus for the remainder of the first 6 weeks postpartum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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