Background Maternal characteristics during pregnancy such as BMI, weight gain, and glucose tolerance have been associated with anthropometric traits in their offspring. Here we extend these observations looking at the associations between maternal body composition, weight gain by trimester, and glucose tolerance and anthropometrics in their infants.
Materials and methods Participants were 31 (16 female) singleton babies and their mothers (aged 25-35 yrs) in the eastern area of the county of Västerbotten in Sweden. Maternal weight was measured at gestational weeks 10-12, 28-32, and 37-41. Maternal body composition was assessed using isotope dilution and gestational glucose tolerance was assessed with a 2-hour, 75-gram oral glucose challenge at 28-32 weeks gestation. Infant body composition was assessed at 11-19 weeks of age using air- displacement plethysmography. The relationships between maternal and infant variables were assessed with Spearman correlations.
Results Mid-pregnancy weight gain was significantly positively related to fat mass (r=0.41, p= 0.022) but not fat-free mass whereas late-pregnancy weight gain was significantly positively related to infant fat-free mass (r=0.37, p=0.04) but not fat mass. Maternal weight, body composition, or glucose tolerance was not significantly related to infant body composition. Early infancy growth (weight-for-length growth z-score) from 0 to 4 months was significantly related to infant percent fat (r=0.48, p=0.006). Gestational weight gain by trimester is differently related to body composition assessed in early infancy. Additionally, greater early infancy growth is associated with higher percent fat at 4 months of age. Both of these findings might identify targets for interventions conducted in pregnancy and during early life.