Lose baby weight to reduce health risks, say researchers

Caroline Cassidy
Failure to lose baby weight could increase health risks
Failure to lose baby weight could increase health risks

Pic: Getty

We've all seen the stories about celebrity mums and how they manage to regain their figures with astonishing speed after the birth of the babies, and while most new mums have neither the time nor the inclination to hit the gym, research suggests that losing your baby weight is important for your health.

According to a Canadian study, mothers who fail to lose their baby weight within a year of giving birth are at a much greater risk of developing diabetes and heart trouble.

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Scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto tracked the health of more than 300 patients through pregnancy and for the 12 months after giving birth.

Some 75 per cent of the participants lost at least a little of their baby weight within the year, and consequently displayed healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But the remaining women, who actually gained weight after the birth of their little one clearly showed an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, the study, which was published in the journal Diabetes Care, revealed that the heightened risk factors seen a year after giving birth had not been present at three-month postpartum point, suggesting failure to lose the weight gained during pregnancy could have long-term effects in terms of health.

Study leader Dr Ravi Retnakaran said: "This finding helps us advise women about the importance of losing their excess pregnancy weight in the first year after delivery.
"With these results, we can say that failure to lose weight between three and 12 months postpartum will cause blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin action in the body to move in an unhealthy direction."

The scientists now plan to further study the link between baby weight and metabolic risk factors for a prolonged two to three-year period after birth.

Did you successfully manage to lose your baby weight within a year? What advice would you give to new mums struggling to regain their figure? Leave your comments below...