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June 20, 2017

Losing Weight During the Postpartum Period

Author Affiliations
  • 1Kaiser Permanente, Denver, Colorado
  • 2University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
  • 3Diabetes and Obesity Core, Center for Women’s Health Research, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
JAMA. 2017;317(23):2375-2376. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7036

The postpartum period is one of the critical time points in a woman’s life that often places her at risk for obesity and obesity-related health conditions. Postpartum weight retention (defined as a retained weight of 4.5 kg at 6-12 months after delivery)1 affects an estimated 25% of the 4 million women in the United States who give birth each year. Although all women are at risk for postpartum weight retention, those who are African American, Hispanic, receive a lower income, or live in certain geographical regions (South and Midwest) are at particularly high risk for weight retention and the subsequent consequences of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Effective interventions are needed for these at-risk patient populations to stop the cycle of weight gain and adverse maternal and child outcomes.