Postpartum Weight Gain Linked To Lack Of Sleep

Mothers who reported insomnia five hours or less per day, when their babies six months old was a threefold increased risk of significant weight retention (11 pounds or more) on their baby's first birthday than mothers who slept seven hours each day, according to a new study by Kaiser Permanente and the Harvard Medical School / Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

The study, published in the November issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology < / i> is the first to look at the effects of sleep deprivation on weight after the birth. Previous studies have focused on the effect of early postpartum sleep deprivation on mothers' cognitive and emotional health, but never associated weight gain.

"We have known for some time that sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain and obesity in the population, but this study shows that more and enough sleep -- even just two hours more - - can be just as important as a healthy diet and exercise for new mothers to return to their weight before pregnancy, "said Erica P. Gunderson, PhD, an investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland and the head of the study.

The study also found that mothers who slept a few hours a year after the birth, as they have six months after birth had twice the risk of considerable weight. Other studies have shown that prolonged sleep deprivation causes hormonal changes that may stimulate appetite. Short sleep duration was not only associated with obesity in women, but coronary heart disease and diabetes as well as.

"With the results of this study, new mothers must ask:" How can I get more sleep for me and my baby? "Our team is working on new studies to answer this important question," said Matthew W. Gillman, MD, SM, Department of Outpatient Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School / Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

< br> The study examined 940 women who participated in the Harvard's Project Viva, the observational, longitudinal cohort study of prenatal and postnatal health. The women, whose average age was 33 years old and with a mix of Caucasian, African-Americans and Hispanic, were queried about their sleep habits and weight in the six months to a year after the birth of assessments. Forty-seven percent of the women were mothers, for the first time, 37 percent two children and 16 percent for three or more children.

"A new baby the first year at home is a tough adjustment for everyone. This is the reason why Kaiser Permanente, our care for mothers to care for our babies. We give moms Tools and services to make it easier to juggle everything and get back into shape: an electronic newsletter pregnancy, newborn clubs, online health encyclopedia, online programs, podcasts, videos, weight and training programs, and discounts for gym memberships and Weight Watchers application , "said Tracy Flanagan, MD, Director of Women's Health, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. "But the best advice for all the mothers with babies is to ask for help and get support and take care of you."

----------------------------< Br> article adapted from Medical News today from the original press release. ,

The study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.

About Kaiser Permanente Division of Research ,

The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, published and distributed and health epidemiological research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and the society as a whole. It tries to make the determinants of illness and well being and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, the center of the 400-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects.

About Kaiser Permanente ,

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health. Founded in 1945, is a non-profit, group practice prepayment program with headquarters in Oakland, California Kaiser Permanente serves the health care of more than 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Today, the non-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and for the profit Permanente Medical Groups. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 156000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 13, 000 physicians from all specialties.

Harvard Medical School ,

Harvard Medical School ( has more than 5000 full-time faculty positions, which eight departments based at the School's Boston quadrangle or in one of 47 departments at 18 Harvard teaching hospitals and research institutes. The Harvard hospitals and research institutions include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge Hospital, The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Children's Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Forsyth Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker Children's Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, McLean Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston VA Health Care System.

Source: Danielle Cass

Edelman Public Relations