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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Reproductive Health 1/2017

Maternal fat free mass during pregnancy is associated with birth weight

Reproductive Health > Ausgabe 1/2017
Yanxia Wang, Jie Mao, Wenling Wang, Jie Qiou, Lan Yang, Simin Chen



The relationship between maternal body compositions and birth weight was not definite. Fat Mass (FM) and Fat Free Mass (FFM) can accurately reflect the maternal body fat compositions and have been considered as better predictors of birth weight. Despite its potential role, no studies have been described the maternal compositions during pregnancy in East Asian women previously. We investigated the correlation between birth weight and Maternal body composition including fat mass (FM) and fat free mass (FFM). To determine whether birth weight is associated with maternal body fat FM and FFM during pregnancy and, if so, which trimester and parameter is more critical in determining birth weight.


A longitudinal prospective observational study performed, 348, 481 and 321 non-diabetics Han Chinese women with a singleton live birth attending a routine visit in their first, second and third trimesters were recruited. Maternal body composition was measured using segmental multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis. Data of the pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), maternal BMI, the gestational weight gain (GWG), and placental and birth weight were collected.


A significant correlation exists between maternal FFM in the process of pregnancy, placental weight, GWG at delivery, and birth weight (P < 0.05). On stepwise multiple linear regression analysis, material’s FFM was the most important factor associated with the birth weight. After adjustment, there was significantly associated with 2.47-fold increase in risk for birth weight more than 4 kg when FFM ≥ 40.76 kg (Upper quartile of participants). The increased maternal age became a protective factor (OR = 0.69) while the increased pre-pregnancy BMI (OR = 1.50) remained predictors to birth weight more than 4 kg.


The change of maternal FFM during pregnancy is independently affected the birth weight.
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