University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Exploring the need for interventions to manage weight and stress during interconception

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Maternal and Child Health | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health


Interventions to manage weight and stress during the interconception period (i.e., time immediately following childbirth to subsequent pregnancy) are needed to promote optimal maternal and infant health outcomes. To address this gap, we summarize the current state of knowledge, critically evaluate the research focused on weight and stress management during the interconception period, and provide future recommendations for research in this area. Evidence supports the importance of weight and stress management during the reproductive years and the impact of weight on maternal and child health outcomes. However, evidence-based treatment models that address postpartum weight loss and manage maternal stress during the interconception period are lacking. This problem is further compounded by inconsistent definitions and measurements of stress. Recommendations for future research include interventions that address weight and stress tailored for women in the interconception period, interventions that address healthcare providers' understanding of the significance of weight and stress management during interconception, and long-term follow-up studies that focus on the public health implications of weight and stress management during interconception. Addressing obesity and stress during the interconception period via a reproductive lens will be a starting point for women and their families to live long and healthy lives.


UMCCTS funding, Interconception, Maternal weight gain, Obesity, Pregnancy, Stress, Women’s health

DOI of Published Version



J Behav Med. 2017 Feb;40(1):145-158. Epub 2016 Nov 17. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of behavioral medicine

PubMed ID