Does the pregnancy-related adaptation of gait biomechanics after childbirth recover to its pre-pregnancy state? A systematic review

Mako Fukano, Yumi Nomura, Yuka Tsukahara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Although changes in the gait biomechanics during pregnancy are known to occur, it is unclear whether they return to their original state after childbirth. Research question: The objective of the current systematic review is to summarize existing literature reporting the biomechanical characteristics of gait in postpartum women and to identify knowledge gaps that calls for future investigations in this population. Methods: Relevant articles were selected using MEDLINE (PubMed), Scopus (Elsevier), Embase (Elsevier), and Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics). Articles were included if they met the following criteria: They must (1) include postpartum women, (2) report measures related to three-dimensional (3D) kinematics and/or kinetics, (3) have been published after 1990, and (4) have been published in English. Results and significance: The current systematic review included a total of 14 articles, five of which compare the data from postpartum women with nulliparous women or pre-pregnancy data. We observed that gait biomechanics changes of postpartum women could persist for more than 5 years after the childbirth. This review provides novel viewpoints on the biomechanics of postpartum women's gait and recommendations for future studies to fully understand these changes and improve postpartum women's physical and mental wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-121
Number of pages12
JournalGait and Posture
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 May

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Postpartum women
  • Recovery
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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