To characterize the association of longitudinal changes in maternal anthropometric measures with neonatal anthropometry and to assess to what extent late-gestational changes in maternal anthropometry are associated with neonatal body composition.
In a prospective cohort of pregnant women, maternal anthropometry was measured at six study visits across pregnancy and after birth, neonates were measured and fat and lean mass calculated. We estimated maternal anthropometric trajectories and separately assessed rate of change in the second (15–28 weeks) and third trimester (28–39 weeks) in relation to neonatal anthropometry. We investigated the extent to which tertiles of third-trimester maternal anthropometry change were associated with neonatal outcomes.
Women were recruited from twelve US sites (2009–2013).
Non-obese women with singleton pregnancies (n 2334).
A higher rate of increase in gestational weight gain was associated with larger-birth-weight infants with greater lean and fat mass. In contrast, higher rates of increase in maternal anthropometry measures were not associated with infant birth weight but were associated with decreased neonatal lean mass. In the third trimester, women in the tertile of lowest change in triceps skinfold (−0·57 to −0·06 mm per week) had neonates with 35·8 g more lean mass than neonates of mothers in the middle tertile of rate of change (−0·05 to 0·06 mm per week).
The rate of change in third-trimester maternal anthropometry measures may be related to neonatal lean and fat mass yet have a negligible impact on infant birth weight, indicating that neonatal anthropometry may provide additional information over birth weight alone.