PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Excessive weight gain isn't healthy at any stage of life, but during pregnancy it can do lasting harm to the mother and baby alike. Now researchers at Brown University and The Miriam Hospital are encouraged by a new study describing an intervention that helped pregnant women control their weight.
"This study suggests that a lifestyle intervention can help women manage their weight during pregnancy, prevent health problems during pregnancy, and reduce weight retention after having a baby," said study lead author Suzanne Phelan, adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown and an associate professor of kinesiology at California Polytechnic State University.
Women whose weight was in a normal range before pregnancy were more likely to stay at a healthy weight if they received the intervention during pregnancy compared to women who received standard care, according to the randomized controlled study of 400 women, published online this month in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The intervention also increased the chance of returning to their pre-pregnancy weight six months after delivery. The intervention did not help women who were obese or overweight before becoming pregnant to stay within the recommended weight gain goals during pregnancy, but it did help them return to their pre-pregnancy weight after delivery.
"I think it's an important study," said co-author Rena Wing, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and The Miriam Hospital. "The goal during pregnancy is to help women gain within the recommended amounts. Our study succeeded for normal weight women, but we need to develop a more effective approach for women who are overweight or obese."
The Institute of Medicine's latest guidelines recommend, for example, that normal-weight women gain between 25 and 35 pounds and that obese women ga
|Contact: David Orenstein|