Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Limiting postpartum weight retention through early antenatal intervention: The HeLP-her randomised controlled trial
Author: Harrison, C.
Lombard, C.
Teede, H.
Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2014; 11(1):134-1-134-8
Publisher: BioMED Central
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1479-5868
Statement of
Cheryce L Harrison, Catherine B Lombard, Helena J Teede
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pregnancy is a recognised high risk period for excessive weight gain, contributing to postpartum weight retention and obesity development long-term. We aimed to reduce postpartum weight retention following a low-intensity, self-management intervention integrated with routine antenatal care during pregnancy. METHODS: 228 women at increased risk of gestational diabetes, <15 weeks gestation were randomised to intervention (4 self-management sessions) or control (generic health information). Outcomes, collected at baseline and 6 weeks postpartum, included anthropometrics (weight and height), physical activity (pedometer) and questionnaires (health behaviours). RESULTS: Mean age (32.3 ± 4.7 and 31.7 ± 4.4 years) and body mass index (30.4 ± 5.6 and 30.3 ± 5.9 kg/m2) were similar between intervention and control groups, respectively at baseline. By 6 weeks postpartum, weight change in the control group was significantly higher than the intervention group with a between group difference of 1.45 ± 5.1 kg (95% CI: -2.86,-0.02; p < 0.05) overall, with a greater difference in weight found in overweight, but not obese women. Intervention group allocation, higher baseline BMI, GDM diagnosis, country of birth and higher age were all independent predictors of lower weight retention at 6 weeks postpartum on multivariable linear regression. Other factors related to weight including physical activity, did not differ between groups. CONCLUSIONS: A low intensity intervention, integrated with standard antenatal care is effective in limiting postpartum weight retention. Implementation research is now required for scale-up to optimise antenatal health care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry Number: ACTRN12608000233325. Registered 7/5/2008.
Keywords: Postpartum weight retention; gestational weight gain; pregnancy; lifestyle intervention; self-management; gestational diabetes
Rights: © Harrison et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030094771
DOI: 10.1186/s12966-014-0134-8
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_118905.pdfPublished version788.46 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.