Madres para la Salud: Design of a theory-based intervention for postpartum Latinas

Colleen Keller, Kathie Records, Barbara Ainsworth, Michael Belyea, Paska Permana, Dean Coonrod, Sonia Vega-Lopez, Allison Nagle-Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Weight gain in young women suggests that childbearing may be an important contributor to the development of obesity in women. Depressive symptoms can interfere with resumption of normal activity levels following childbirth or with the initiation of or adherence to physical activity programs essential for losing pregnancy weight. Depression symptoms may function directly to promote weight gain through a physiologic mechanism. Obesity and its related insulin resistance may contribute to depressed mood physiologically. Although physical activity has well-established beneficial effects on weight management and depression, women tend to under participate in physical activity during childbearing years. Further, the mechanisms underpinning the interplay of overweight, obesity, physical activity, depression, and inflammatory processes are not clearly explained. Objectives: This report describes the theoretical rationale, design considerations, and cultural relevance for ". Madres para la Salud" [Mothers for Health]. Design and methods: Madres para la Salud is a 12 month prospective, randomized controlled trial exploring the effectiveness of a culturally specific intervention using "bouts" of physical activity to effect changes in body fat, systemic and fat tissue inflammation, and postpartum depression symptoms in sedentary postpartum Latinas. Summary: The significance and innovation of Madres para la Salud includes use of a theory-driven approach to intervention, specification and cultural relevance of a social support intervention, use of a Promotora model to incorporate cultural approaches, use of objective measures of physical activity in post partum Latinas women, and the examination of biomarkers indicative of cardiovascular risk related to physical activity behaviors in postpartum Latinas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-427
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Culture
  • Exercise
  • Hispanics
  • Intervention
  • Latinas
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Postpartum
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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