Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

Predictors of postpartum weight retention among urban Malaysian mothers: a prospective cohort study

Fariza Fadzil*, Khadijah Shamsuddin*, Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh*, Shuhaila Ahmad**, Noor Shaheeran Abdul Hayi***, Azah Abdul Samad****, Nor Izzah Ahmad Shauki*****, Ruhaini Ismail*****

*Dept. of Community Health, UKMMC, **Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, UKMMC, ***Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, ****Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur & Putrajaya Health Department, *****Selangor State Health Department


Introduction: Postpartum weight retention increases the risk of overweight and obesity among women. This study aims to determine the mean, prevalence and factors associated with postpartum weight retention among urban Malaysian mothers from delivery until 6 months postpartum.

Methods: A prospective cohort study of 420 postpartum mothers who delivered at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital and UKM Medical Centre was conducted from March 2013 to October 2014 through face-to-face interviews at baseline (after delivery), 2 months, 4 months and 6 months at the selected clinics in Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. Information on socio-demographic, history of pregnancy and delivery, postpartum lifestyle and practices, height and weight were obtained.

Results: A total of 420 postpartum mothers were interviewed at 2, 4 and 6 months postpartum. Their average age was 29.6 ± 4.7 years and average gestational weight gain was 12.9 ± 5.2 kg. Majority were Malays (83.3%), 58.8% had primary/secondary education, 70.0% were employed, 65.2% came from middle income family, 33.8% from primiparity and 66.7% delivered via normal or instrumental. The mean of postpartum weight retention was 3.1 ± 4.8 kg with 33.9% retaining ≥5 kg. From multivariate linear regression analysis, predictors of postpartum weight retention were being less physically active, had higher energy intake in diet, had gestational weight gain ≥12 kg, not continuing breastfeeding until 6 months postpartum and had never used hot stone compression, and these factors explained 55.1% of the variation in postpartum weight retention at 6 months.

Conclusion: Based on the study results, health care providers should advise mothers to control gestational weight gain, and after delivery to remain active physically, reduce energy intakes, continue breastfeeding at least for 6 months and use hot stone compression to prevent postpartum weight gain.

Keywords: Malaysian mothers, obesity, postpartum weight retention, prospective cohort, urban