New Moms: Get Some Exercise and Watch Your Weight

Once upon a time, it was generally accepted expectant moms were eating for two. That is, until the obesity epidemic reared its ugly head, increasing a woman's risks, among other things, of premature birth, preeclampsia and a Cesarean. There's no better time to drop those extra pounds than after your baby is born, according to a new study.

Researchers compared the health of overweight, breastfeeding moms who followed an exercise program (walking, jogging or aerobic dancing for 45 minutes, four days a week) and reduced the amount of food they ate by 500 calories (largely cutting out soft drinks, potato chips and other junk foods) versus those who didn't over 10 weeks.

No surprise, moms who ate less junk and exercised lost far more weight than those in the control group. And, the health of babies in both groups prospered as well. The only caution was for dieters to increase their intake of calcium and vitamin D while lactating. Your best sources for both:

Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 106, No. 6, June 2006: 908-912

MSNBC July 14, 2006

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