Most health care providers recommend that new moms begin losing weight at around three months postpartum. Women who fail to lose weight after giving birth or who gain weight postpartum have an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, says a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care.
For the study, researchers followed 305 obstetrical patients at Mount Sinai Hospital throughout pregnancy and the year after birth.
Three-quarters of the women lost at least some weight in the year after giving birth. The women who lost weight maintained healthy levels in cholesterol, blood pressure, and other tests.
Another quarter of the women gained weight during the year following the birth of their children. The women who gained weight exhibited a clear increase in risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
States Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, an endocrinologist at Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada:
“This finding helps us advise women about the importance of losing their excess pregnancy weight in the first year after delivery. With these results, we can say that failure to lose weight between three and 12 months postpartum will cause blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin action in the body to move in an unhealthy direction.”
Additionally, the risk factors for diabetes and heart problems were not present during the three months following birth. Adds Dr. Retnakaran, “That means that the nine-month window leading up to one year after birth is a critical time for women to ensure that they are losing at least some of their pregnancy weight.”
The findings of the present study provide evidence for the theory that failure to lose “baby weight” carries long-term implications for diabetes and heart disease risks.
Concludes lead author Simone Kew, also of the Leadership Sinai Diabetes Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, “These findings warrant further research, because doctors will want to know which interventions to suggest to women to help them maintain healthy weight patterns during this critical first year after delivery.”
Moms’ Still Overweight at 1 Year Postpartum at Increased Risk for Diabetes, heart problems: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/274562.php
Weight Gain Soon After Birth Tied to Diabetes Risk: http://www.medpagetoday.com/OBGYN/Pregnancy/44934
Mother with Child at One-Year Postpartum: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/63173