Prevention of Obesity and Diabetes in Childbearing Women


Address correspondence to Kimberly K. Trout, CNM, PhD, 3700 Reservoir Rd., NW Washington, DC 20057. E-mail:


Obesity and diabetes have become pandemic in the United States, with more than one-third of the US population obese and 8.3% of the population affected by diabetes. Efforts to prevent type 2 diabetes focus primarily on healthy eating and physical activity. In particular, women from at-risk racial and ethnic groups and those who have experienced gestational diabetes are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Achieving a healthy weight prior to conception, staying within weight gain guidelines during pregnancy, and losing accumulated pregnancy weight postpartum are key prevention factors. Maintaining a healthy weight in the long-term is a challenge. Behavioral psychology and coaching techniques are presented in this article that can be useful in sustaining behaviors that promote a healthy weight.