Determinants of postpartum physical activity, dietary habits and weight loss after gestational diabetes mellitus
Article first published online: 8 OCT 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Promoting excellence - Evidence-based Practice at the Bedside and Beyond Issue editors: Kristiina Hyrkas and James P. Rhudy Jr
Volume 21, Issue 1, pages 58–69, January 2013
How to Cite
2012) Journal of Nursing Management Determinants of postpartum physical activity, dietary habits and weight loss after gestational diabetes mellitus& (
- Issue published online: 22 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 8 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 JUL 2012
- Swiss National Science Foundation
- dietary habits;
- gestational diabetes mellitus;
- physical activity;
- postpartum period;
- weight loss
To describe the most significant findings of the studies that examined the prevalence and determinants of postpartum health behaviours (physical activity, dietary habits and/or weight loss) in patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Patients with gestational diabetes have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the months after delivery. For this reason, GDM patients are encouraged to practice specific health behaviours during the postpartum period. It is important to identify the factors that may impact the adherence to these behaviours.
Eighteen published research articles that examined postpartum health behaviours and/or their potential determinants in women diagnosed with GDM were selected from electronic databases.
Physical activity and diet rarely meet the recommendations. Risk perception, health beliefs, social support and self-efficacy are the main factors identified as having an impact on the adoption of health behaviours. However, the cross-sectional nature of the studies and the lack of social, geographical and/or ethnic variety in the populations studied do not allow us to generalize the conclusions.
Implications for nursing management
This literature review reports all the information currently available that can enable nurses and midwives to engage in the evaluation and optimization of their interventions in GDM patients. Motivational interventions based on Social Cognitive Theory are proposed.