Published in Californian Journal of Health Promotion, Volume 8, Issue 1, January 1, 2010, pages 22-31.
Approximately 25% of women experience major weight gain after pregnancy, retaining more than 4.5 kg. Preliminary efforts to promote postpartum weight loss have encountered some success, but little is known about the types of programs of greatest interest to postpartum women. The purpose of this study was to better understand the weight control needs and preferences of postpartum women in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition program (N = 100) and an Adult Education Parenting (AEP) program (N = 75). A self-report questionnaire was used to collect participants’ demographic and weight history information as well as participants’ degree of interest in various weight loss treatment modalities. Results indicated that, independent of weeks postpartum and breastfeeding status, women in both groups (WIC and AEO) experienced high postpartum weight retention, and greater weight retention was reported in WIC than AEP (7.6 ± 7.7 kg vs. 3.2 ± 6.9 kg, respectively; p = .0001). When asked about types of weight control treatments, women in both setting expressed greatest interest in weekly face-to-face group meetings, but 66.2% of AEP and 60.6% of WIC reported needing childcare to attend such meetings. Women in both settings reported interest in an Internet-based program, particularly one that integrated monthly face-to-face meetings. Future randomized controlled trials are needed to examine the efficacy of Internet-based treatment in reducing postpartum weight retention in diverse patient populations.