1Department of Coaching Science, Lithuanian Sports University, Lithuania - 2Obstetric Department, Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Clinics, Lithuania - 3Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior, Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Portugal - 4Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Human Performance, Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon, Portugal


Introduction: The purpose was to design a healthy lifestyle promotion program for postpartum women aiming at improving women's body composition and active lifestyle, and to analyze its feasibility regarding the methods and acceptability. It is impor- tant to understand which interventions focused on the reduction of weight gained during pregnancy are the safest, and the most effective.

Methods: A pilot study was carried out in a Hospital setting. Twenty-nine women were involved in the study. A healthy lifestyle promotion program for postpartum women including, visual materials of an exercise program, and physical activity and healthy diet recommendations after delivery, was designed. Women after 2 days after delivery were invited to participate in the study by following recommendations on lifestyle. After two and six month’s postpartum, women were asked to come back to the Obstetrics Department for individual control (health variables), lifestyle (diet and exercise) and anthropometric measurements (body composition). Data analysis consisted of the qualitative analysis regarding the feasibility of the program, and on the quanti- tative analysis regarding the changes of the outcome variables from 2 to 6 months postpartum.

Results: The pilot study was feasible and most of the participants were satisfied with it. The materials were built by health and exercise professionals, and were easily put in practice. The setting was appropriate, and the intervention was combined with the usual care of postpartum women in a hospital setting, supervised by a midwife. The pilot intervention resulted in positive changes in body composition (i.e., 71.1±10.8 to 62.6±10.1 kg; and significant reduction of most girths and skin folds’ measure- ments), and physical activity level of women (12.1±1.6 to 23.5±2.5 metabolic equivalent) within 6 months after delivery.

Discussion: This pilot study supports the research hypothesis that a healthy lifestyle promotion program may positively affect the changes in the body composition and physical activity level of women after childbirth. A protocol study for a ran- domised control study will be developed in first place.


postpartum care, preventive healthcare, lifestyle, exercise, physical activity, body composition