Impact of Maternal Body Weight on the Growth of Offspring

Kristina Duh, Primož Budi, Aneta Soltirovska Šalamon

Abstract

Objective − Maternal general health and diet prior to and during pregnancy create conditions for intrauterine foetal development. This may influence long-term growth, development and health of the child. The aim of this study was to define the influence of maternal body weight (BW) on offspring growth in early childhood.

Materials and Methods − 162 Slovenian mothers and their children were included in the study and subsequent analysis. We collected information on anthropometric measurements of mothers prior to and during pregnancy, and of their children (BW, length, head circumference (HC)) up to the age of three. To perform statistical analysis, the Pearson correlation test, linear regression and F-test were utilized.

Results − A statistically significant association between the mother’s BW and newborn BW (P<0.01) and offspring BW up to three years of age (P< 0.05) was found. Linear regression showed a positive association between the mother’s BW and the newborn’s BW (P<0.01) and child's BW at one year of age (P<0.05). Additionally, a significant association between the mother's BW and children's HC at the age of 9 months (P<0.05) was determined and further confirmed by regression analysis.

Conclusion − The study findings bring to light an important link between maternal BW and offspring growth in early childhood. Furthermore, the findings confirm the relevance of preventive strategies for improving the awareness of the importance of maternal health during pregnancy and the impact it can have on offspring growth.

Keywords

Pregnancy Body Weight; Birth Weight; Head Circumference; Newborns; Children

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