Changes in maternal weight, triceps and subscapular skinfold thicknesses during two consecutive pregnancy (n = 125) and lactation (n = 225) periods are described for a sample of rural Taiwanese women studied during a longitudinal nutrition intervention. Mean pregnancy weight gain was 7.63 kg, with a maximum weight velocity of 1.46 kg per month in the second trimester. Skinfold thicknesses increased Slightly early in pregnancy, then declined during the last trimester, reaching a minimum just after birth. After an initial increase from birth to one postpartum month, mean weight and skinfold thicknesses declined throughout lactation. Closer examination revealed that one third of mothers gained weight and a greater proportion gained skinfold thickness during 12 to 15 months of lactation. Mothers who lost weight tended to have been fatter at the beginning of lactation compared with those who gained weight. Individual weight change patterns of the first lactation period studied (LI) were replicated by 87% of women during the second (L2). Due in part to a secular trend, mothers weighed more and tended to have thicker skinfolds during L2 compared to LI. Birth intervals (mean = 758 days) were related to maternal anthropometric variables; fatter mothers had longer birth intervals. Anthropometric data interpreted in the context of energy balance demonstrate that the Taiwan population, although it could be considered malnourished based on caloric intake estimates and by comparison with U.S. weight for height standard, shows no evidence of long term energy deficits. Rather, as judged by moderate weight and skinfold increases with time and by reproductive success, the population is well adapted.
Adair, Linda S.; Pollitt, Ernesto; and Mueller, William H.
"Maternal Anthropometric Changes during Pregnancy and Lactation in a Rural Taiwanese Population,"
4, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol55/iss4/6