Balancing exercise and food intake with lactation to promote post-partum weight loss

Nutrition Department, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, USA.
Proceedings of The Nutrition Society (Impact Factor: 5.27). 02/2011; 70(2):181-4. DOI: 10.1017/S002966511100005X
Source: PubMed


Excess weight gain during pregnancy and post-partum weight retention are risk factors for obesity. While many studies report average weight retained from pregnancy is only 0·5-3·0 kg; between 14 and 20% of women are 5 kg heavier at 6-18 months post-partum than they were before pregnancy. Among normal-weight women, lactation usually promotes weight loss to a moderate extent, but not among those with BMI≥35 kg/m2. While exercise and energy restriction may promote weight loss during lactation, their effect on milk volume and composition and, consequently, infant growth must be considered. The effect of exercise on lactation performance has been investigated. Moderate aerobic exercise of 45 min/d, 5 d/week improved cardiovascular fitness, plasma lipids and insulin response; however, it did not promote post-partum weight loss. Breast milk volume and composition were not affected. The effect of exercise with energy restriction in overweight women on the growth of their infants has also been studied. At 1 month post-partum, women restricted their energy intake by 2092 kJ/d and exercised 45 min/d, 4 d/week for 10 weeks. Women in the diet and exercise group lost more weight than the control group (4·8 (sd 1·7) kg v. 0·8 (sd 2·3) kg); however, there were no differences in infant growth. Based on the current evidence, it is recommended that once lactation is established, overweight women may restrict their energy intake by 2092 kJ/d and exercise aerobically 4 d/week to promote a weight loss of 0·5 kg/week.

25 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Current evidence suggests a combined treatment of postpartum weight loss of diet and exercise. However, to our knowledge, neither their separate and interactive effects nor long-term outcomes have been evaluated. We evaluated whether a 12-wk dietary behavior modification (D) treatment to decrease energy intake, physical exercise behavior modification (E) treatment to implement moderate aerobic exercise, or combined dietary and physical exercise behavior modification (DE) treatment compared with control (usual care) (C) reduces body weight in lactating women measured at the end of treatment and at a 1-y follow-up 9 mo after treatment termination. At 10-14 wk postpartum, 68 lactating Swedish women with a prepregnancy BMI (in kg/m(2)) of 25-35 were randomly assigned to D, E, DE, or C groups. Measurements were made at baseline, after the intervention, and again at a 1-y follow-up 9 mo later. A 2 × 2 factorial approach was used to analyze main and interaction effects of treatments. Weight changes after the intervention and 1-y follow-up were -8.3 ± 4.2 and -10.2 ± 5.7 kg, respectively, in the D group; -2.4 ± 3.2 and -2.7 ± 5.9 kg, respectively, in the E group; -6.9 ± 3.0 and -7.3 ± 6.3 kg, respectively, in the DE group; and -0.8 ± 3.0 and -0.9 ± 6.6 kg, respectively, in the C group. The main effects of D treatment, but not of E treatment, on weight were significant at both times (P < 0.001). Dietary treatment provided clinically relevant weight loss in lactating postpartum women, which was sustained at 9 mo after treatment. The combined treatment did not yield significant weight or body-composition changes beyond those of dietary treatment alone. This trial was registered at as NCT01343238.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 09/2012; 96(4):698-705. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.112.040196 · 6.77 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pregnancy and the postpartum period is a time of increased vulnerability for retention of excess body fat in women. Breastfeeding (BF) has been shown to have many health benefits for both mother and baby, however its role in postpartum weight management is unclear. Our aim was to systematically review and critically appraise the literature published to date in relation to the impact of BF on postpartum weight change, weight retention and maternal body composition. Electronic literature searches were carried out using MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, Web of Science, BIOSIS, CINAHL and British Nursing Index. The search covered publications up to 12/06/2012 and included observational studies (prospective and retrospective) carried out in BF mothers (either exclusively or as a sub-group), who were 2 years postpartum and with a BMI >18.5 kg/m2, with an outcome measure of change in weight (including weight retention) and/or body composition. Thirty-seven prospective studies and eight retrospective studies were identified that met the selection criteria; studies were stratified according to study design and outcome measure. Overall, studies were heterogeneous, particularly in relation to sample size, measurement time points and in the classification of BF and postpartum weight change. The majority of studies reported little or no association between BF and weight change (n=27, 63%) or change in body composition (n=16, 89%), although this seemed to depend on the measurement time points and BF intensity. However, of the five studies that were considered to be of high methodological quality, four of these did demonstrate a positive association between BF and weight change. This systematic review highlights the difficulties of examining the association between BF and weight management in observational research. While the available evidence challenges the widely held belief that BF promotes weight loss, more robust studies are needed to reliably assess the impact of BF on postpartum weight management.International Journal of Obesity accepted article preview online, 29 July 2013. doi:10.1038/ijo.2013.132.
    International journal of obesity (2005) 07/2013; 38(4). DOI:10.1038/ijo.2013.132 · 5.00 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We investigated the association between full breast-feeding up to 6 months as well as partial breast-feeding after 6 months and maternal weight retention at 6, 18 and 36 months after delivery in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), conducted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Cohort study. Information on exposure and outcome was collected by questionnaire. Norway. Women at 6 months (n 49 676), 18 months (n 27 187) and 36 months (n 17 343) postpartum. Longer duration of full breast-feeding as well as partial breast-feeding was significantly related to lower weight retention at 6 months. At 18 months full breast-feeding (0-6 months) and partial breast-feeding for 12-18 months were significantly related to lower weight retention. At 36 months only full breast-feeding (0-6 months) was significantly related to lower weight retention. For each additional month of full breast-feeding, maternal weight was lowered by 0·50 kg/month at 6 months, 0·10 kg/month at 18 months and 0·14 kg/month at 36 months (adjusted for pre-pregnant BMI, pregnancy weight gain, age and parity). Partial breast-feeding resulted in 0·25 kg/month lower maternal weight at 6 months. Interactions were found between household income and full breast-feeding in relation to weight retention at 6, 18 and 36 months, indicating most benefit among women with low income. The present study supports the hypothesis that full breast-feeding contributes to lower postpartum weight retention and shows that the effect is maintained for as long as 3 years postpartum.
    Public Health Nutrition 08/2013; 17(7):1-10. DOI:10.1017/S1368980013001869 · 2.68 Impact Factor
Show more


25 Reads