Background: Pregnancy and the postpartum period have been suggested as important contributors to overweight and obesity among women. This paper presents the design, rationale, and baseline participant characteristics of a randomized controlled intervention trial to enhance weight loss in postpartum women who entered pregnancy overweight or obese.
Methods: Active Mothers Postpartum (AMP) is based on the rationale that the birth of a child can be a teachable moment. AMP's primary objectives are to promote and sustain a reduction in body mass index (BMI) up to 2 years postpartum via changes in diet and exercise behavior, with a secondary aim to assess racial differences in these outcomes. Women in the intervention arm participate in ten physical activity group sessions, eight healthy eating classes, and six telephone counseling sessions over a 9-month period. They also receive motivational tools, including a workbook with recipes and exercises, a pedometer, and a sport stroller.
Results: Four hundred fifty women aged > or =18 (mean 30.9), with a BMI > or = 25 kg/m(2) (mean 33.0) at baseline (6 weeks postpartum) were enrolled; 45% of the final sample are black and 53% are white. Baseline characteristics by study arm and by race are presented.
Conclusions: Our intervention is designed to be disseminated broadly to benefit the public health. Behavior change interventions based on principles of social cognitive theory, stage of readiness, and other models that coincide with a teachable moment, such as the birth of a child, could be important motivators for postpartum weight loss.