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Maternal Anthropometric measurements, Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index, and Fetal Growth Parameters - A Rural Experience

Background: Low pre-pregnancy BMI is considered a marker for minimal nutrient reserves, fetal growth restriction and adverse pregnancy outcome. This study was conducted to evaluate the influence of pre pregnancy BMI on fetal growth parameters.

Methods: A hospital based, cross-sectional, observational study was conducted among pregnant women seeking antenatal care at Kasturba Hospital, Sewagram, a rural institute in central India. Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI was calculated and correlated with new born birth weight, birth length, chest circumference, head circumference, arm circumference and ponderal index.

Results: Among 500 pregnant women of first trimester, the maternal mean Pre-pregnancy weight, height and Prepregnancy BMI were 47 ± 5.77 kg, 154.43 ± 5.39 cm and 19.78 ± 2.56 kg/m2 respectively. The mean Pre-pregnancy BMI in the LBW group was 19.25 ± 1.68 kg as compared to 19.98 ± 2.60kg in normal birth weight group with a statistically significant difference (z=3.75, P=0.001, z =25.15, P=0.000). Positive correlation was found between pre pregnancy maternal weight, and BMI with neonatal weight, neonatal length, chest circumference, head circumference and arm circumference. The association was negative with neonatal ponderal index. Mean neonatal length, ponderal index, chest circumference, head circumference a mid-arm circumference were statistically significantly associated with pre-pregnancy BMI. (F=3.797 P=0.010; F=10.623 P=0.0001; F=18.924 P=0.001; F=3.948 P=0.0001; F=3.478, P=0.016 respectively). 

Conclusions: Women in the geographic region of the study had low body mass index depicting chronic malnourishment. BMI below 19.5 kg/m2 and above 25 kg/m2 were good predictors of low birth weight babies and had significant association with birth weight, length, head circumference, arm circumference and chest circumference.


Surekha Tayade, Ritu Singh, Jaya Kore, Neha Gangane

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