Weight Concerns Affect Risk of Postpartum Smoking

Highly motivated pregnant former smokers less concerned with weight

FRIDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Concern about weight gain is an important factor in whether female smokers who quit before pregnancy will remain abstinent in the postpartum period, according to a report published in the October issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Women who are confident in their ability to control weight gain are more motivated and less likely to return to smoking than women who are less confident.

Through a questionnaire, Michele D. Levine, Ph.D., and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, examined the motivation of 119 pregnant former smokers to remain abstinent postpartum.

The researchers found that 65 percent of the women were highly motivated to remain abstinent postpartum. These women reported being more stressed, better able to manage their weight, less hungry and smoking less for weight control. After controlling for a number of factors, greater self-efficacy for weight management was associated with the motivation to remain abstinent.

"These data suggest that weight concerns are associated with motivation for postpartum smoking abstinence, and interventions designed to prevent postpartum smoking relapse may need to target eating, weight and shape concerns," Levine and colleagues conclude.

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