Researchers at the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill University recently published a study in the Journal of Pregnancy. The study focused on the postpartum weight loss success of women based on gestational weight gain and exercise information and participation.

Fifty-four women were included in the study. The women completed a prenatal questionnaire evaluating physical activity. All women attended prenatal classes. Postpartum weight retention was measured at six weeks. During the study, women were asked to recall dietary intake for the previous 24 hours on three occasions. They were also asked to wear a pedometer for one week.

Conclusion: Women who recited incorrect pregnancy weight gain expectations were more likely to gain excess weight and retain weight after pregnancy. Researchers also found a connection between excess energy intake (more than 300 extra calories each day) lead to prolonged weight retention. Giving pregnant women accurate gestational weight gain recommendations, energy intake and physical activity goals as part of prenatal education may reduce postpartum weight retention.

Source: Cohen TR, Koski KG. Limiting excess weight gain in healthy pregnant women: importance of energy intakes, physical activity, and adherence to gestational weight gain guidelines. J Pregnancy. 2013;2013:787032. doi: 10.1155/2013/787032. Epub 2013 Feb 20.