A preliminary study on the pattern of weight change from pregnancy to 6 months postpartum: A latent growth model approach

C. F. Lee, F. M. Hwang, Y. M. Liou, L. Y. Chien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective:There is a lack of comprehensive understanding about patterns of weight change from pregnancy to childbirth and beyond. We describe the trajectory of weight change pattern from pre-pregnancy to 6 months postpartum and examine demographical and perinatal variables that predict the weight change using the latent growth model (LGM).Design and subjects:This study used a longitudinal design. The study participants were 120 women whose body weights were measured at eight time points.Results:The adjusted mean pre-pregnancy weight was 52.57 kg. When the weight growth rate for 10-13 weeks of pregnancy and pre-pregnancy weight 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 the third trimester to 2-3 weeks postpartum,-0.08 during the period from 2-3 weeks to 4-5 weeks postpartum,-0.37 during the period from 4-5 weeks to 11-12 weeks postpartum, and-0.65 during the period from 11-12 weeks to 24-25 weeks postpartum. On average, body weight increased 26.54% (13.95 kg) from pre-pregnancy to 36-39 weeks of pregnancy and body weight remained 6.26% (3.29 kg) higher at 24-25 weeks postpartum compare with pre-pregnancy. In terms of factors related to body weight, age was positively associated with pre-pregnancy body weight. Parity had a negative effect on the change of body weight. Women who had an increased change rate in body weight had higher newborn birth weights.Conclusions:We found that weight change from pregnancy to postpartum followed a pattern that could be specified using the LGM approach. The women retained more than 6% of weight at 6 months postpartum compared with their pre-pregnancy weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1086
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • BMI
  • body weight
  • latent growth model
  • postpartum weight retention
  • pregnancy
  • women


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