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  • Author: Tamara R. Cohen x
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Tamara R. Cohen, Hugues Plourde and Kristine G. Koski

Background:

The Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ) assesses physical activity practices of pregnant women. The purpose of this study was to identify specific pregnancy practices that were associated with a healthy gestational weight gain (GWG).

Methods:

Associations between PPAQ scores, pedometer steps, energy intakes (EI), energy expenditures (EE), and rate of GWG were assessed for 61 pregnant women in their second or third trimester during a home visit. Principle component analyses (PCA) were used to cluster PPAQ questions into Factors associated with either rate or total GWG, physical activity (PA), EE, EI, and parity.

Results:

PCA identified 3 Factors: Factor 1 associated EE with parity and child care; Factor 2 clustered several structured exercise activities; and Factor 3 grouped walking, playing with pets, and shopping with pedometer steps. Only Factor 3 clustered steps with weekly rate of GWG. EI was not associated with PA or GWG.

Conclusions:

PCA analysis identified 15 of 32 PPAQ questions that were related to increased physical activity in pregnant women, but only walking and pedometer steps were associated with GWG. Our analysis supports daily walking as the preferred PA for achieving a healthy rate of GWG.

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Amy E. Montpetit, Hugues Plourde, Tamara R. Cohen and Kristine G. Koski

Background:

A “fit pregnancy” requires balancing energy expenditure with energy intake (EI) to achieve appropriate gestational weight gains (GWG), healthy infant birth weights (IBW), and minimal postpartum weight retention (PPWR). Our objective was to develop an integrated conceptual framework to assess the contribution of prepregnancy weight (PP-BMI), EI, and physical activity (PA) as determinants of GWG, IBW, and PPWR.

Methods:

Pregnant women (n = 59) were recruited from prenatal classes. Energy intake was estimated using 3 24-hr diet recalls and PA using a validated PA questionnaire and a pedometer. Telephone interviews at 6-weeks postpartum assessed self-reported GWG, IBW, and PPWR. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to explore the potential predictors of GWG, IBW, and PPWR.

Results:

Prepregnancy BMI was associated with GWG, and EI was associated with IBW; each model captured only 6%–18% of the variability. In contrast, PPWR was predicted by PP-BMI, GWG, and EI, which together explained 61% of its variability, whereas GWG alone explained 51% of the variability in PPWR.

Conclusions:

Modeling the relationship using hierarchical models suggests that PP-BMI, prepartum PA, and EI differentially impact GWG, IBW, and PPWR.