The effects of diet and exercise on bone mineral density during the first year postpartum

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Andrea Sorvillo (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Cheryl Lovelady

Abstract: During lactation, women can lose up to 10% of bone mineral density (BMD) at trabecular-rich sites. Previous studies report resistance exercise to slow BMD losses; however, no study has looked at the long-term effects of exercise on BMD during lactation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a 16-wk exercise intervention in lactating women from 4-20 wk postpartum on lumbar spine, total body, and hip BMD at 1-y postpartum. At 4 wk postpartum, women were randomized to the intervention group [IG, n = 18, weight bearing aerobic exercise and resistance exercise] or control group [CG, n = 18, no exercise] for 16 wk. BMD was measured by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at lumbar spine, hip, and total body. Repeated-measures ANCOVA was used to test for time and group differences for bone density controlling for covariates: prolactin concentration and calcium intake at 1-y postpartum. IG lost less lumbar spine BMD from 4 to 20 wk postpartum compared to CG (-3.6 ± 2.1% vs. -5.2 ± 3.3%) and gained similarly from 20 wk to 1-y (IG: 2.7 ± 3.6% vs. CG: 2.7 ± 3.1%). Change in lumbar spine BMD was significantly different over time and between groups from 4 wk to 1-y, when controlling for covariates. No significant differences were seen in total body and hip BMD. These results suggest that resistance exercise may slow bone loss during lactation, resulting in higher BMD levels at 1-y.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Bone, Diet, Exercise, Lactation
Osteoporosis in women
Breastfeeding $x Health aspects
Lactation $x Nutritional aspects
Mothers $x Nutrition
Mothers $x Health and hygiene

Email this document to