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Health Care Women Int. 2013 Jul;34(7):577-91. doi: 10.1080/07399332.2012.736568. Epub 2013 Mar 21.

Experiences accompanying postpartum weight loss: benefits, successes, and well-being.

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School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC, USA.


Obesity is a growing problem in the United States, and research has supported the theory that pregnancy contributes to long-term weight gain. This phenomenological study investigated the postpartum weight loss experiences of 24 women. Women ranged in age from 25 to 35 years, were mostly Caucasian with adequate resources, and about half worked either full or part time. Women described both positive and negative experiences associated with weight loss. Themes included issues related to exercise, weight struggles, pregnancy contributions to weight gain, eating, breastfeeding, motivation for weight loss, time issues, miscellaneous struggles, realizing benefits, social support, quick weight loss, personal well-being, and successes. The overarching theme that represents these women's experiences was the need to balance weight loss activity with other responsibilities, which resulted in challenges and triumphs in women's pursuit of returning to their prepregnancy weights. Realizing benefits, successes, and personal well-being are addressed in this article.

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