Mom's Relationships Affect Baby's Weight

By Rosenberg, Jared | International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, March 2011 | Go to article overview

Mom's Relationships Affect Baby's Weight


Rosenberg, Jared, International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health


A child's birth weight is associated with its mother's relationship with and access to its father at the end of pregnancy, according to a study of data on 3,993 children born between 2000 and 2003 in one district of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. (1) On average, the infants in the sample weighed 3,110 grams at birth; fewer than 10% were low-birth-weight (<2,500 grams). Sixteen percent of mothers lived with their child's father during pregnancy; 17% of mothers were married at the time of the child's birth, and 22% had no partner. In analyses adjusted for socioeconomic and maternal characteristics, infants whose parents lived together at the time of birth were born an average of 59 grams heavier than those whose lather lived elsewhere; there was no difference between the birth weight of children whose father did not reside with their mother and that of children whose father was deceased. Children born to mothers with a partner were heavier at birth than those born to mothers without a partner, with, the difference varying by partner type (180 grams for a married partner, 122 grams for a coresident partner who was considered a member of the household, 107 grams for a nonresident-household partner and 84 grams for a nonresident-non-household partner). …

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