The study will involve 100 women in the year following delivery of a baby but the research team aims to recruit women from late pregnancy.
College of Health researcher Associate Professor Jane Coad says the project will look at both the mother and baby during the first year after birth.
“We want to examine changes in the mother’s body composition and diet, the baby’s body composition, feeding pattern and the baby’s growth,” she says. “We want to find out more about how maternal body composition changes after giving birth and what factors affect these changes.”
During pregnancy, women gain body fat that they usually lose sometime afterwards, but appetite may also change in this period.
“We are interested in factors that affect the changes in body composition following delivery. It is thought that metabolic rate changes also affect body composition but little research has been done in this area.”
Dr Coad says they also hope to find out more about how different patterns of infant feeding early in life affect eating decisions later.
“We are interested in getting some base-line data to look at how patterns of feeding vary in different infants, how mothers make decisions about feeding, and how patterns may be associated with growth and mother’s body composition.”
Participants will be asked a series of questions about diet and activity, and some physical measurements will be taken, including a body fat measurement that is done in a BodPod. The same measurements will be taken from the infant, using the PeaPod (pictured).
Anyone interested in participating can contact Chris Booth on firstname.lastname@example.org or Jane Coad on email@example.com or phone 0800 0800 28.