An Exercise Program Selling Point: Not losing baby weight leads to Postpartum Depression


I happened across a website for a Mom and Baby fitness routine yesterday. As I scrolled down the page, I got angry. And then I got pissed off.

Here’s one of their selling points from about 2/3 of the way down the page:

If you need help getting back in shape after baby, if you have postpartum depresssion, if you need creative ways to bond with baby, if you need to lose the baby weight —

Okay, so yes, exercise helps with Postpartum Depression. In fact, some studies have proven that exercise has an almost anti-depressant effect.

But do you need THEIR product to achieve that effect? No. All you need is yourself, some clothes, decent shoes, and somewhere to walk or run. Bam.

What got me really pissed off was the sidebar section. I took a screen-shot of the most offensive section to share with you. I have blacked out the company’s name as I sure as hell am not advertising for them. You also will not find a link to them here either.

Clearly, these folks know something about Postpartum Mood Disorders I have never heard:

“Gaining pregnancy weight and struggling to get back in shape after birth can lead to post pardum depression and difficulties bonding with baby.”

First of all, you are SUPPOSED to gain weight during pregnancy. Here’s a breakdown of weight gain expectations as found at the March of Dimes website:

If you began pregnancy at a healthy weight
You should gain 25–35 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, you should put on about one pound every week in the second and third trimesters

If you began pregnancy underweight
You should probably gain a little more than women who are at a healthy weight. That’s because underweight women are more likely to have small babies. A 28- to 40-pound gain is usually best. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, try to gain slightly over a pound a week in the second and third trimesters.

If you began pregnancy overweight
You should gain only 15–25 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, you should put on slightly over ½ pound every week in the second and third trimesters. While you don’t want to gain too much weight, you should never try to lose weight during pregnancy because that could harm your baby.

If you were obese at the start of your pregnancy
You should gain only 11–20 pounds over the nine months. Assuming you gain between 1 and about 4 ½ pounds in the first trimester, aim for gaining slightly under ½ pound every week in the second and third trimesters.

If you’re expecting twins
You should probably gain between 37-54 pounds over the nine months if you began pregnancy at a healthy weight. If you began pregnancy overweight, aim for gaining a total of 31-50 pounds. If you were obese at the start of your pregnancy, you should gain between 25-42 pounds over the nine months. (That means gaining about 1 ½ pounds a week in the last two trimesters.

Another important thing to note here is that if you have a history of eating disorders, you are at a higher risk for developing a Postpartum Mood Disorder.

It’s also important to know that Thyroid issues may also be at the heart of abnormal weight loss or weight gain.

That population is exactly who this spam page is targeting. Get thin. Be happy. Avoid Postpartum Depression. Stay perfect.

Want to know something interesting?

This company has a spammy blog to go along with their website. Postpartum Depression is nowhere to be found when a quick search was done for the term at their blog.

For this company, Postpartum Depression is merely an SEO term they tossed onto their page in order to garner more hits and target an entire at-risk population.

Companies like this make me absolutely sick.

They pray on women who are at their most vulnerable. Granted, this particular company’s product is not insanely priced, but price is not the issue here. The issue is that they are insinuating that their product, not exercise in general, will help you fight off depression. You NEED their product to avoid Postpartum Depression and bond with your baby. Truth be told? You don’t.

Here are the things you may need to battle Postpartum Depression:

  • Professional support
  • Personal/peer support
  • Family support
  • Exercise (any kind will do)
  • Therapy/medication/supplements – IF prescribed and or/approved by your Professional support

Things you do NOT need to battle Postpartum Depression:

  • Products which promise to cure or ward off Postpartum Depression
  • Negative People/Support
  • Sparkly Unicorns (although they are awesome)
  • Leprachauns
  • Wizards
  • The Trix Bunny

Depression happens. There’s a right way to go about getting help and a wrong way. Ending up on a page like the one I have just blogged abut is the wrong way. Unfortunately, many, many people prey on at-risk populations so that they will spend money they don’t have on products they do not need. So how do you tell the difference between a good, solid, and helpful website vs. a bad, for profit, grubby website? Educate yourself starting with these two posts:

The reprehensible spammification of PPD

Tips on Identifying Reliable Health Information on the Internet

Then make sure to involve a medical professional in your Postpartum Mood Disorder care to help keep you safe and well as you travel toward recovery.

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One thought on “An Exercise Program Selling Point: Not losing baby weight leads to Postpartum Depression

  1. I am in as much of a shock as you are. With the birth of my first child I felt depressed before I even left the hospital. I thought it was new parent nerves or being in so much pain from the c-section. But looking back, it was PPD. If their advertising was correct, then how was I supposed to prevent the PPD being a day or two post-op of a c-section.

    You are right,depression happens. Not everyone can handle the imbalance of emotions and hormones. For me the best way to heal PPD was therapy. So when I was pregnant with my second I sought therapy, and continued it after his birth.

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