Prevention of Postpartum Weight Retention during One Year after Childbirth by Prenatal Nutrition Education: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Seyed Saeed Mahmoodabad Mazloomy, Sajedeh Molavi, Azadeh Nadjarzadeh, Farahnaz Mardanian, Roya Riahi, Nahid Ardian, Kobra Salehi, Masoomeh Goodarzi‑Khoigani


Background: It seems that 14–25% of the women retain at least 5 kg weight from 6 to 12 months after delivery and gestational weight gain is the most important reason of weight retention. Thus, we assessed the effect of prenatal nutrition education program on the retained weights at 8, 26, and 52 weeks after delivery in primiparous women. Methods: This randomized controlled trial was implemented among 192 primiparous pregnant women in five hospitals, fifteen community health centers, and fifteen private offices. Self-developed questionnaire was used to collect the participants’ characteristics. A 72-hr dietary recall was applied to evaluate the food intakes before and after intervention. The pregnancy physical activity questionnaire determined the physical activity score. The participants’ weights at 8, 26, and 52 weeks after delivery were measured by a digital beam. Results: The means of postpartum weight decreased in both groups, but nutrition education was significantly effective on reducing postpartum weight in intervention group (β = -3.112, SE = .7384, P < 0.001). Also, the women in intervention group had less retained weight compared to control during the follow-up (β = -3.35, SE = 0.75, p < 0.001). The proportion of pregnant women in intervention group who reached to their pre-gravid weight was more than control during the follow-up (OR = 2.86, 95% CI: 1.62, 5.07). Conclusions: Nutrition education considering an individualized calorie-appropriate diet for each pregnant woman and based on the national guideline is effective on postpartum weight retention and reaching to pre-gravid weight.


Clinical trial; gestational weight gain; Iran; pregnancy; prenatal education

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