Background Long-term obesity after pregncy is associated with obesity prior to pregncy and retention of weight postpartum. This study aims to identify socioeconomic differences in prepregncy body mass index, quantify the impact of prepregncy obesity on birth outcomes, and identify determints of postpartum weight retention. Methods A total of 2231 pregnt women, recruited from three public hospitals in Southeast Queensland in Australia during antetal clinic visits, completed a questionire to elicit information on demographics, socioeconomic and behavioural characteristics. Perital information was extracted from hospital records. A follow-up questionire was completed by each participant at 12 months after the birth to obtain the mother's postpartum weight, breastfeeding pattern, dietary and physical activity characteristics, and the child's health and development information. Multivariate logistic regression method was used to model the association between prepregncy obesity and outcomes. Results Being overweight or obese prepregncy was strongly associated with socioeconomic status and adverse behavioural factors. Obese women (18% of the cohort) were more likely to experience gestatiol diabetes, preeclampsia, cesarean delivery, and their children were more likely to experience intensive- or special-care nursery admission, fetal distress, resuscitation, and macrosomia. Women were more likely to retain weight postpartum if they consumed three or fewer serves of fruit/vegetables per day, did not engage in recreatiol activity with their baby, spent less than once a week on walking for 30 minutes or more or spent time with friends less than once per week. Mothers who breastfed for more than 3 months had reduced likelihood of high postpartum weight retention. Conclusions Findings provide additiol specificity to the increasing evidence of the predisposition of obesity prepregncy on adverse materl and perital outcomes. They may be used to target effective behavioural change interventions to address obesity in women.
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