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Womens Health Issues. 2009 Nov-Dec;19(6):398-405. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2009.08.003. Epub 2009 Sep 17.

Low-income women's reproductive weight patterns empirically based clusters of prepregnant, gestational, and postpartum weights.

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

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Women have varying weight responses to pregnancy and the postpartum period. The purpose of this study was to derive sub-groups of women based on differing reproductive weight clusters; to validate clusters by reference to adequacy of gestational weight gain (GWG) and postpartum incremental weight shifts; and to examine associations between clusters and demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial variables.

METHOD:

A cluster analysis was conducted of a multi-ethnic/racial sample of low-income women (n = 247). Clusters were derived from three weight variables: prepregnant body mass index, GWG, and postpartum retained weight.

RESULTS:

Five clusters were derived: Cluster 1, normal weight-high prenatal gain-average retain; cluster 2, normal weight-low prenatal gain-zero retain; cluster 3, high normal weight-high prenatal gain-high retain; cluster 4, obese-low prenatal gain-average retain; and cluster 5, overweight-very high prenatal gain-very high retain. Clusters differed with regard to postpartum weight shifts (p < .001), with clusters 3, 4, and 5, mostly gaining weight between 6 weeks and 12 months postpartum, whereas clusters 1 and 2 were losing weight. Clusters were also associated with race/ethnicity (p < .01), breastfeeding immediately postdelivery (p < .01), smoking at 12 months (p < .05), and reaching weight goals at 6 and 12 months (p < .001), but not depressive symptoms, fat intake habits, or physical activity.

CONCLUSION:

In a five-cluster solution, postpartum weight shifts, ethnicity, and initial breastfeeding were among factors associated with clusters. Monitoring of weight and appropriate intervention beyond the 6 weeks after birth is needed for low-income women in high normal weight, overweight, and obese clusters.

PMID:
19766016
DOI:
10.1016/j.whi.2009.08.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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