Effect of Exercises & Diet Intervention in on Postpartum Weight Retention and Obesity Markers

Research & Knowledge,

Effect of Exercises and Diet Intervention in Pregnancy on Postpartum Weight Retention and Obesity Markers: Findings in Indian Women.

Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy

Pawalia, Alka PhD, MPT; Kulandaivelan, Sivachidambaram PhD, MSPT; Yadav, Vikram Singh MSPT 

Why do the majority of Indian women find it hard to achieve pre pregnancy waist circumference after delivery? What steps can be taken to help mitigate weight retention that could contribute to future chronic health conditions? 

#JWHPT recently published a report that attempts to answer the above questions. Researchers hypothesize that the cultural beliefs surrounding eating, weight gain, and exercise during and after pregnancy in India encourages habits that can lead to weight gain in women.

Factors that may influence diet and exercise during pregnancy:

  • Lack of time
  • Fear of harming baby
  • Lack of support by family members

Factors that influence diet and exercise after pregnancy:

  • Women are often required to limit physical activity postpartum
  • It is culturally acceptable to lay in bed for most of the day for the month after delivery
  • Women are given specific foods that are high in fats and calories

Researchers found that weight retention was less in women who participated in either supervised exercise alone or supervised exercise with diet advice. They believe that the regular reinforcements to promote healthy diet and activity choices as well as education to change preconceived ideas about diet and exercise during pregnancy contributed to the positive outcomes. 

Read the research report to find out more.