Author(s): Nast M, de Oliveira A, Rauber F, Vitolo MR
PURPOSE: To evaluate weight retention 12 months postpartum and factors associated among women who had received prenatal care at Health Care Centers in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil. METHODS: Pregnant women in the last trimester were identified at 20 Health Care Centers. Socioeconomic, demographic and anthropometrics data were obtained. Six and 12 months after delivery, the women received home visits for anthropometric measures. The gestational weight gain was defined by pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI). Weight retention was defined as the difference between pre-gestational weight and weight at postpartum. Data were analyzed using McNemar's Test, ANOVA with Bonferroni correction and multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Of the 715 pregnant women recruited, 545 were assessed 12 months after delivery. Women were more likely to be overweight 12 months postpartum compared to the pre-pregnancy period (52.9 versus 36.7%) and weight retention during the 12 months postpartum was more than 10 kg in 30.7% of the women. Weight retention in the postpartum period was higher among women who were overweight (9.9 ± 7.7 kg) compared to those who were of normal weight during the pre-pregnancy period (7.6 ± 6.2 kg). Pre-pregnancy BMI, gestational weight gain, and maternal age were associated with gestational weight retention 12 months postpartum (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Adequate prenatal care is necessary to minimize the adverse effects of excessive weight gain during pregnancy on women's health.