Publication details




Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Kinanthropology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Sports Studies

Keywords Babywearing; Gait; Kinematics; Pregnancy; Front Wrap; Back Wrap
Description Purpose: Babywearing is getting popular among the parents and caregivers as it provides a close physical contact and stimulations for interaction with the baby. Changes in gait kinematics of the female carrier were described previously; however, the number of studies is limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the longitudinal maternal gait changes during pregnancy, postpartum period and postpartum during the front wrap and back wrap babywearing condition. Methods: One pregnant women was measured longitudinally. She participated at the data collection at the 16 and 38 weeks of gestation and 8 months after delivery. Additionally, at the last data collection session a front wrap and back wrap babywearing were used. At each data collection, the participant was asked to walk barefoot trough a 7 meters long pathway in a space captured by Simi Motion system at her preferred speed wearing retroreflexive markers. Following variables were analysed: step width, step length; maximal hip extension; maximal hip flexion; knee joint height, maximal knee extension; maximal knee flexion, trunk left-right motion and trunk anterior-posterior motion. Results: For purpose of this study, the 16 gestational week simulated the prepregnancy gait pattern. In the last trimester of pregnancy, increased hip flexion and lateral and anterio-posterior shifting of the body and decreased knee flexion and stride length were observed, confirming findings of previous studies. Six months postpartum spatio-temporal and most of the kinematic gait characteristics returned to pre-pregnancy values. Changes in the gait pattern induced by the front wrap babywearing were similar like the 38 g.w. of pregnancy condition. However, a decrease in the maximal knee flexion and lateral trunk motion and increase in step length were observed during the front wrap compared to the advanced pregnancy. During the back wrap babywearing condition compared to the advanced pregnancy data collection session an increase in maximal knee flexion, maximal knee high and step length and decrease in maximal anterio-posterior trunk motion, step width and maximal hip flexion were observed. Conclusion: Results from this study confirm that most of the changes in the gait during pregnancy return back to the pre-pregnancy levels postpatrtum. Changes of the maternal gait induced by both, the frontal and back wrap babywearing were described in this study.
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