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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 200-205

Maternal characteristics influencing birth weight and infant weight gain in the first 6 weeks post-partum: A cross-sectional study of a post-natal clinic population

1 Department of Paediatrics, University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
2 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
3 Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Immunology, Morehouse School of Medicine, 720 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta Georgia 30310, USA

Correspondence Address:
Christopher S Yilgwan
Department of Paediatrics, University of Jos/Jos University Teaching Hospital, PMB 2076, Jos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.107553

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Background: To investigate the relationship between certain maternal characteristic and infant birth weight and weight gain in puerperal women seen at a tertiary health centre. Materials and Methods: We measured the weight of 318, randomly selected infants after a complete physical examination at birth and at 6 weeks postnatal using standard procedures and related them to certain maternal characteristics. Results: There were 318 women and baby pairs. Maternal ages ranged from 16 to 42 years, with a mean of 25.6±1.3 years. Mean birth weight of babies was 3.10±1.89 kg; mean gestational age was 36±4.6 weeks, with 9.4% and 3.0% of babies born having low birth weight or Macrosomia respectively. Mothers from the North of the country, multiparity and systolic and/or diastolic hypertensions were factors associated with low birth weight. At 6 weeks, 27.1% of infants failed to gain weight as expected for their age. Similarly, 37.0% of infants born to mothers with some tertiary education showed slowed weight gain compared with those who had secondary (19.2%) or primary (14.7%) education, P=0.03. Maternal weight at delivery positively correlated with birth weight of the infant (r=0.357, P<0.001). However, maternal weight and blood pressure negatively correlated with infant weight gain at 6 weeks post-delivery. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that certain maternal characteristics could play a role in the birth weight and early infant weight gain, and are preventable through simple public health approaches.

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