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Mama Move

The Mama Move Project: Increasing Physical Activity in new mothers by encouraging Moms to actively exercise with their infant

Mama Move ProjectBecoming a mother is a significant transition in a woman's life accompanied by changes in social, cultural, economic, and family factors that can change a woman's priorities with respect to her health behaviors. Up to one-year postpartum, 57% of women are sedentary/underactive, reporting they rarely or never exercise and studies demonstrate women with children are more inactive than their same age/gender peers without children.1-4 Several studies have documented significant changes in health behaviors, including physical activity and sedentary habits, during the postpartum period.5-9 Ethnic disparities in physical activity reductions following childbirth, particularly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), have also been found.10-12 Changes in health promoting behaviors place this vulnerable population at risk for weight gain/retaining weight gained during pregnancy, and developing or exacerbating chronic health conditions such as postpartum depression, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.2,5,13-17 Recent studies have tested the effectiveness of theoretically-derived physical activity interventions to modify a range of health outcomes in postpartum women including: MVPA, caloric intake/healthy diet, weight loss, chronic disease risk factors (metabolic syndrome), general well-being, sleep, infant care, and postpartum depression.18-29

Two SBM fellows (Drs. Cheryl Albright and Andrea Dunn) are collaborating on a new, innovative research project designed to find out how new moms like using exercise videos (e.g., yoga, cardio, strengthening) to be active while also playing with their baby - in the comfort of their own home. The project is called Mama Move and it is recruiting almost 600 women nationwide to test out exercise videos for 3 months. All videos are designed so new moms actively exercise with their infant. There are no costs to the mom; Mama Move is an entirely free program. Eligible mothers must be: 18-45 years old, in good health, not currently exercising more than 30 minutes a week, interested in using a new form of technology to exercise; babies must be 2-8 months old and between 11 and 22 pounds and healthy. If you want to join the project or know someone who might be interested, please visit Mama Move. For additional information, please contact Dr. Cheryl Albright at cherylal@hawaii.edu.

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