Pregnancy and post-delivery maternal weight changes and overweight in preschool children

Camille A Robinson, Alison K Cohen, David H Rehkopf, Julianna Deardorff, Lorrene Ritchie, Ruvani T Jayaweera, Jeremy R Coyle, Barbara Abrams
Preventive Medicine 2014, 60: 77-82

OBJECTIVES: High maternal weight before and during pregnancy contributes to child obesity. To assess the additional role of weight change after delivery, we examined associations between pre- and post-pregnancy weight changes and preschooler overweight.


SAMPLE: 4359 children from the Children and Young Adults of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) born to 2816 NLSY mothers between 1979 and 2006 and followed to age 4-5years old.

EXPOSURES: gestational weight gain (GWG) and post-delivery maternal weight change (PDWC).

OUTCOME: child overweight (body mass index (BMI) ≥85th percentile).

RESULTS: Adjusted models suggested that both increased GWG (OR: 1.08 per 5kg GWG, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.16) and excessive GWG (OR: 1.29 versus adequate GWG, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.56) were associated with preschooler overweight. Maternal weight change after delivery was also independently associated with child overweight (OR: 1.12 per 5kg PDWC, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.21). Associations were stronger among children with overweight or obese mothers.

CONCLUSIONS: Increased maternal weight gain both during and after pregnancy predicted overweight in preschool children. Our results suggest that healthy post-pregnancy weight may join normal pre-pregnancy BMI and adequate GWG as a potentially modifiable risk factor for child overweight.

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