Postpartum Weight Retention and Its Related Factors in Taiwanese Women: A Preliminary Study
Repository Posting Date2012-01-11T10:41:53Z
Author DetailsHsiu-Rong Cheng, MSN, RN
(41st Biennial Convention) Purpose: Childbearing is a significant contributor to the increase of body weight and body fat, and waist circumference is an effective measurement to predict the risk of obesity-related diseases. Few studies have explored postpartum weight retention, and none have measured waist circumference in Taiwanese postpartum women. Hence, the purpose of this study is to examine the current magnitude of postpartum weight retention, waist circumference, and related factors of postpartum weight retention in Taiwanese women. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. A convenience sample of Taiwanese women was recruited from two health centers in southern Taiwan. Women's body weights and waist circumferences were measured. Structured questionnaires were used to collect explanatory factors of postpartum weight retention. Independent t-test and Pearson correlation test were used for data analysis. Findings: The sample (N = 30) were all married, with mean age 31.93 years, at 2 weeks to 28 weeks postpartum (mean = 11.50), and 53% of them were primiparas. Their average gestational weight gain, average postpartum weight retention, and average increase in waist circumference were 12.61 � 4.23 Kg, 4.24 � 2.03 Kg, and 8.72 � 5.64 cm, respectively. The prevalence of overweight increased from 21.4% before pregnancy to 32.1% postpartum. Higher gestational weight gain was related to postpartum weight gain (r = 0.331). Primiparas increased their waist circumferences more than multiparas did (t = 2.22, p = 0.037). Postpartum weight retention and snack eating during doing the month are related to increases in waist circumference (r = .625 and r = .435). In addition, total hours of sleep was negatively associated with increases in waist circumference (r = .40). Conclusions: There is significant postpartum weight retention and increase in waist circumference in Taiwanese women. Gestational weight gain, lifestyle changes, and the custom of doing the month have important effects on women's bodies.