Background

Pregnancy is a period when a woman's body undergoes changes. The purpose of this study was to analyze the mechanisms of gait adaptation in overweight pregnant women regarding spatiotemporal gait parameters, ground reaction forces, and plantar pressure distribution.

Methods

The tests were performed in 29 normal-weight pregnant women and 26 pregnant women who were overweight before pregnancy. The measurements included spatiotemporal gait parameters, in-shoe plantar pressure distribution, and ground reaction forces during gestation.

Results

The results indicate that both normal-weight and overweight pregnant women make use of the same spatiotemporal gait parameters to increase body stability and safety of movement during pregnancy. The double-step duration in the third trimester of pregnancy was higher in normal-weight and overweight pregnant women compared with in the first trimester (P < .05). A significant change in pressure amplitude was found under all anatomical parts of the foot in the third trimester (P < .05). The results also suggest a higher increase in the maximum amplitude of force in overweight pregnant women in the third trimester compared with the normal-weight group.

Conclusions

This study suggests that both normal-weight and overweight pregnant women use different mechanisms of gait adaptation during pregnancy. In practice, understanding the biomechanical changes in women's gait can protect the musculoskeletal system during gestation.

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