Postpartum weight retention and breastfeeding among obese women from the randomized controlled Lifestyle in Pregnancy (LiP) trial

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2014 Aug;93(8):794-801. doi: 10.1111/aogs.12429. Epub 2014 Jun 13.


Objectives: To study the effects of lifestyle intervention in pregnancy on weight retention 6 months postpartum among obese women from the "Lifestyle in Pregnancy" (LiP) study, and to determine associations between breastfeeding with postpartum maternal weight.

Design: Six months postpartum follow up after a randomized controlled intervention trial.

Setting: Two university hospitals in Denmark.

Population: A total of 360 women with pregestational body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2) .

Methods: The intervention involved lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) during pregnancy. The control group received routine pregnancy care. Both groups received standard postnatal care.

Main outcome measures: Gestational weight gain, postpartum weight retention and breastfeeding.

Results: Follow up was completed in 238 women of whom 46% in the intervention group and 57% in the control group had retained weight 6 months postpartum (p = 0.088). Women with gestational weight gain ≤9 kg, (recommended by the Institute of Medicine), retained less postpartum weight compared with those who exceeded 9 kg (median -0.7 vs. 1.5, p < 0.001). Ninety-two percent in both weight gain groups initiated breastfeeding. The number of breastfeeding mothers was higher among women with postpartum weight retention ≤5 kg compared with those with weight retention > 5 kg (94% vs. 85%, p = 0.034).

Conclusions: We could not detect sustained weight control at 6 months postpartum despite a lower gestational weight gain for obese women during pregnancy who received a lifestyle intervention rather than standard care. Women who adhered to gestational weight gain recommendations had significantly lower postpartum weight retention. Breastfeeding for 6 months was negatively associated with postpartum weight retention.

Trial registration: NCT00530439.

Keywords: Breastfeeding; gestational weight gain; intervention; lifestyle; obesity; postpartum weight retention; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding* / statistics & numerical data
  • Diet Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Linear Models
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss*
  • Weight Reduction Programs / methods*

Associated data