OBJECTIVE To study the relations between different feeding patterns and the body weight retention of the perinatal women living in rural areas of China. METHODS A cluster sampling method was used to investigate 409 women, who are currently living in rural areas of Tianjin, at pregnant and perinatal status. While, their body weights and heights before pregnancy, antepartum and postpartum were measured, respectively. Body weight retention was the difference of the measured data after postpartum minus pre-pregnant weight. Variance analysis was used for statistic comparison. RESULTS The rate of exclusive breastfeeding was 70.9% (290/409) within four months. The net body weight retention of women (5.8 kg) using the exclusive breastfeeding was lower than that of the women (7.0 kg) using artificial feeding within 4 - 6 months, but there was no significantly statistic difference (F = 1.45, P = 0.236). However, there was the opposite result within 7 - 9 months, the data showed that the body weight retention in the women using the exclusive breastfeeding was 4.9 kg, which was significantly higher than that the women (2.9 kg) with artificial feeding (F = 3.17, P = 0.043). The food consumption of the women (901 g) using exclusive breastfeeding was the highest, followed by those (877 g) using mixed feeding and the women (750 g) using artificial feeding. CONCLUSION The body weight retention after postpartum should be related to infant feeding patterns. After postpartum, the weight loss of women using the exclusive breastfeeding is relatively low. While, for the women using the exclusive breastfeeding, the net weight retention during pregnancy and after postpartum were lower than those with artificial feeding. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance health education and guidance on promoting exclusive breast-feeding as well as increasing awareness on pre-pregnant health.