Objective: To compare changes in maternal weight and body fat composition from early to late pregnancy and 6–8 months postnatally between primiparous and multiparous patients
Methods: Maternal weight and body fat percentage were assessed in a cohort of low‐risk uncomplicated women in a general antenatal clinic at 14–20 weeks gestation, after 36 weeks, and around six to eight months after delivery using a Tanita TBF 105 Fat Analyser. Maternal epidemiological and anthropometric data, as well as pregnancy characteristics and perinatal outcome, were derived from standard antenatal records after delivery. The cohort was stratified into primiparous and multiparous women for comparison.
Results: In a cohort of 104 women, 55 (52.8%) were primiparous and 49 (47.1%) were multiparous. A relatively good overall correlation between body fat percentage gain and weight gain was observed (correlation coefficient 0.33) from early to late pregnancy. Primiparous women had higher weight gain (12 kg) and higher body fat gain (7.7%) during the pregnancy compared to multiparous women (10.8 kg and 6%, respectively), and they also retained more of the fat accumulated during pregnancy (1.92% vs – 0.44%, P < 0.001) when assessed over six months after their delivery. Conclusion: The findings could represent more exaggerated physiological responses to the pregnant state in the primiparous woman as compared to multiparous women.