advertisement
01 March 2011

Stress makes new moms gain weight

The stress of parenthood can lead new moms to forego physical activity and gain weight, researchers report. And those with higher BMIs developed more signs of depression.

0

The stress of parenthood can lead new moms to forego physical activity and gain weight, researchers report. The Georgia Health Sciences University team checked the body-mass index (BMI) of 60 first-time mothers who were asked about their levels of stress and physical activity.

"Sedentary lifestyle, or a low amount of physical activity, was most influenced by the type of parenting stress [that] the mothers reported. More parenting stress, including depression, was associated with less physical activity and a higher postpartum BMI," Dr Deborah Young-Hyman, a behavioural psychologist with the Georgia Prevention Institute, said in a GHSU news release.

She and her colleagues also found that social interaction was associated with a higher BMI.

"We think women are socialising with their friends, not isolating themselves, but they are doing sedentary things like talking on the phone, watching television or hanging out at home, instead of taking their babies on a walk together," Young-Hyman said.

And the higher BMIs packed a psychological wallop.

BMI in new moms

New moms with a higher BMI had more depressive symptoms, while those with lower BMIs were more physically active and had fewer depressive symptoms.

"We know that physical activity improves your mood and helps you lose weight, but no one has ever asked how physical activity is related to parenting stress in first-time moms," Young-Hyman said.

She noted that being in a good mood is associated with higher levels of physical activity and lower intake of kilojoules. The study was published recently in Women and Health.


(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.