Effect of Diet & Exercise on Postpartum Weight Loss!

Postpartum weight loss shouldn't be your prime focus during the 4th trimester. Here are some evidence-based tips for setting yourself up for success during the prenatal stage!
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Let’s Be Clear. Postpartum Weight Loss is NOT the single, all-important, thing to focus on postpartum.

You have literally just made another human.

A VERY pregnant Dr. Kelly looks down at her belly.  She is sitting on a rock in the sun and there is a beautiful mountain range behind her.
Post-partum weight loss is NOT the only consideration postpartum, but there ARE certain things you can do prenatally to set yourself up for success. Image credit: @LGVCreative

That is freaking incredible.
Even superhero, like.

But postpartum weight loss IS one factor that should be considered as part of your long term recovery, especially if you are high risk individual.

If it took you 10 months to grow this child, be patient with your body, as it resets to new life as a parent.

But what if there was a relatively easy intervention that you could give yourself, or your patients and clients, that research has shown to help with postpartum weight loss?

Here it is: (You’re welcome)

The study, by Pawalia, Kulandaivelan and Yadav, is from the July/September 2020 Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy. It is entitled, “Effect of Exercises and Diet Intervention in Pregnancy on Postpartum Weight Reduction and Obesity Measures: Findings in Indian Women.”

It took a group of 40 women and divided them into 5 groups:

1. Control: “Just told” to eat well and be healthy. All other groups also received this.

2. Diet: This group received 30 diet specific text messages focused on healthy eating, motivating positive dietary changes. These messages were developed in collaboration with a dietician and OB-Gyn, and sent between 20-36 weeks gestation, 2x a week.

3. Home Exercise Group: This group was given similar prenatal exercises as the supervised exercise group, but instructed in them once, at start of study, then given handouts and told to do them 2-3x a week as well as walk 30min daily. They were invited to call clinic with questions

4. Supervised Exercise Group: same home exercises as Group 3 however three participants came to a weekly, supervised, PT visit, where they were trained for 90 minutes in stretch, strengthen, kegel, balance and birth exercise, progressed according to trimester status.

5. Supervised Exercise Plus Diet Texts.

So….who did best with regards to postpartum weight loss??

Not surprisingly the supervised exercise plus dietary texts did the best, followed by just supervised exercise group, then home exercise group, then the “just dietary text” group, and the control “just being told to eat healthy and stay active” group.

Interesting, isn’t it?

How many of our prenatal clients (and selves), were given more guidance than just being told to be active and stay healthy?

How many of our prenatal or postpartum clients (or selves) were given MORE guidance beyond “just be active and stay healthy”

I wasn’t given more advice than that.

So how can we use the information from thsi study to improve our (or our patients or clients) pregnancy or postpartum experience, or that of your friends and families?

While not everyone can get the in person supervised exercise, I think the dietary tips are a good place to start, as “just” getting those messages, in addition to being told to eat healthy, created a statistically significant increase in postpartum weight loss.

It is a place to start.

Here at Pelvic Floored, I am working on an automated e-mail for everyone who selects “prenatal” as their primary reason for joining the newsletter.  It will auto-send these same 30 specific text messages that the study looked at.  It is one step (of many) that I am taking to improve postpartum care, worldwide.

The full article is available by request from the authors here, if you want to dive in deeper. You won’t regret it.

Thanks for Reading!

Check out my Pelvic Floored Signature Lecture Series for a much more in depth training of how your current pelvic floor musce status could be contributing to your pain, incontinence, constipation, pelvic organ pressure, or sexual dysfunction complaints. The program includes 12 mini lectures, and 12 progressive exercise programs that I developed based upon current research, as well as my 16 years of experience in pelvic health. You can stream them as often as you’d like from the privacy of your home

A full pelvic floor physical therapy program, for less than the price of one standard in person PT evaluation!

What other motivation do you need? Did I mention that for every 4 courses I sell, I will donate one to a person in need, through my People Before Profits Program. I am so proud of this. By buying my program you are not only helping yourself (or your loved one), but also someone in need.

If buying my program isn’t in the cards right now, no worries! Please join my mailing list to be kept up to date on other free tips for your best pelvic health! My AMAZING blog posts are filled with practical tips for improving your pelvic (and overall) health prenatally, postpartum and beyond! Mailing list subscribers also get exclusive discounts to Pelvic Floored products, and access to subscriber only events!  Don’t miss out!  Sign up Today! 

Thanks for reading!

xoxo, Dr. Kelly

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