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Parenting Stress + Sedentary Lifestyle = Post-pregnancy Weight Gain

After childbirth, most women are excited to get their pre-pregnancy figure back.  Even with the best intentions, some women may struggle to lose post-pregnancy weight.  So what does the latest research reveal?  There appears to be a link between parenting stress, low amounts of physical activity, and post-pregnancy excess weight.

Researchers at the Georgia Health Sciences University found that new mothers with higher measures of body fat (body mass index, BMI) reported more depressive symptoms and less physical activity.  New moms with lower body mass indexes reported less depressive symptoms and more physical activity.  The researchers are interested in learning more about how parenting stress can impact the lifestyles of new mothers.

Of interest, socializing, traditionally considered a measure of well-being, was associated with a higher body mass index.  Instead of performing activities, such as taking their babies for a walk together, women reported doing sedentary activities with friends, such as talking on the phone or watching TV.  It will be interesting to watch for future studies that will undoubtedly analyze trends in the sedentary socialization activities of tweeting, texting, and online social networks.

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