The battle of the baby weight

25 March 2014        

Category: Survival and support

Woman and child

Not losing weight in the year after giving birth increases risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a study has found.

Researchers in Canada studied 305 mums throughout pregnancy and the year following birth.

Three-quarters of the women lost at least some of their ‘baby weight’ after one year, and were found to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels. But a quarter of women studied gained weight in that year, and these women showed an increase in risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The elevated risk factors seen one year after giving birth were not yet present at three months after childbirth. This indicates that three to 12 months after birth is a critical time for women to lose at least some of the weight gained in pregnancy. 

Ease yourself back into fitness by working physical activity into your routine.

Our Senior Cardiac Nurse, Maureen Talbot, said: “Though it can often be difficult to lose weight after pregnancy, being overweight increases our risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

“That’s why it’s important for new mums to look after themselves as well as their baby by keeping active and eating healthily. With a new baby you will undeniably have your hands full, so don’t try to rush into diets and fitness regimes. Instead, steadily ease yourself back into fitness by working physical activity into your routine, for example with a lunchtime walk or a ‘mother and baby’ exercise class.

“If you’re worried about your weight, talk to your GP who will be able to advise you on the best ways to keep your heart, and your waistline, in good shape.”