Study Examines Post-pregnancy Weight Gain

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1st October 2009, 12:00pm - Views: 1053

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Study examines post-pregnancy weight gain

A new study by RMIT University and the Parenting Research Centre will examine the

factors that lead to women retaining pregnancy weight, including the impact of

babies’ temperaments on the eating and lifestyle habits of new mums.

Researcher Sarah Connor, a postgraduate psychology student at RMIT, said the

study aimed to find out why many women struggle to lose weight after pregnancy by

looking at the relationship between weight gain and the lifestyle changes of

becoming a parent.

“The changes that come with motherhood are likely to have a major impact on eating

habits, physical activity and post-partum weight retention, yet there’s been relatively

little research in this area,” Mrs Connor said. 

“We know parents have a strong influence on their children’s eating and exercise

habits but this study aims to demonstrate what clinical experience shows us – that

children also have a major influence on their parents’ lifestyle and health.

“It’s clear that stress in mothers can have a negative impact on weight but what is

not known is the role of other variables, such as child temperament, on weight


“It’s likely that both children and their parents have an influence on post-partum

health behaviours and weight retention.”

Associate Professor Jan Matthews, Deputy Director of the Parenting Research

Centre, said the study would provide important information about the factors

associated with maternal health behaviours and weight retention after pregnancy.

“The ultimate aim of this research is healthier and happier mothers and babies,”

Associate Professor Matthew said.

“Knowing more about what makes it hard for new mums to eat well and be active will

help us improve health promotion campaigns, and assist in tailoring the information

and supports available to them.”

Mothers of children aged four to 12 months are needed to take part in the study.

Volunteers fill out a confidential questionnaire as part of the research process.

To take part in the study or find out more information, contact Sarah Connor by email

on or by phone on 0401 571 430.

For interviews: Sarah Connor, 0401 571 430 or Associate Professor Jan

Matthews, Parenting Research Centre, (03) 8660 3500.

For general media enquiries: RMIT University Media and Communications,

Gosia Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.


October, 2009

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