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Systematic review of lifestyle interventions to limit postpartum weight retention: implications for future opportunities to prevent maternal overweight and obesity following childbirth

Postpartum weight retention can predict future weight gain and long-term obesity. Moreover, failure to lose weight gained during pregnancy can lead to increased body mass index for subsequent pregnancies, increasing the risk of adverse maternal and foetal pregnancy outcomes. This systematic review evaluates the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions aimed at reducing postpartum weight retention. Seven electronic databases were searched for intervention studies and trials enrolling women with singleton pregnancies and published in English from January 1990 to October 2012. Studies were included when postpartum weight was a main outcome and when diet and/or exercise and/or weight monitoring were intervention components. No limitations were placed on age, body mass index or parity. Eleven studies were identified as eligible for inclusion in this review, of which 10 were randomized controlled trials. Seven studies were successful in decreasing postpartum weight retention, six of which included both dietary and physical activity components, incorporated via a range of methods and delivered by a variety of health practitioners. Few studies utilized modern technologies as alternatives to traditional face-to-face support and cost-effectiveness was not assessed in any of the studies. These results suggest that postpartum weight loss is achievable, which may form an important component of obesity prevention in mothers; however, the optimal setting, delivery, intervention length and recruitment approach remains unclear.

History

Journal

Obesity reviews

Volume

14

Issue

10

Pagination

792 - 805

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Location

Chichester, England

ISSN

1467-7881

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2013, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing