The views of pre- and post-natal women and health professionals regarding gestational weight gain: an exploratory study

Ellinor K. Olander, Lou Atkinson, J.K. Edmunds, David P. French

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    80 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Objectives To explore the views of pre- and post-natal women and health professionals regarding gestational weight gain. The health professionals’ views concerning their provision to prevent unhealthy weight gain in pregnancy were also elicited. These views may inform the design of future interventions targeting gestational weight gain. Study design Focus groups were conducted with pregnant women (n = 9 and one midwife) and post-natal women (n = 14). One focus group (n = 6) and one interview was conducted with health professionals. The focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. Main outcome measures Themes concerning women’s and health professionals’ views about gestational weight gain and the health professionals views of their care related to gestational weight gain. Results The women expressed a lack of concern regarding their weight in pregnancy. The pregnant women reported not monitoring their weight and commonly assumed they would lose weight post-natally through breastfeeding. The health professionals reported being aware of the women’s views, but lacked information to give to the women regarding healthy weight gain. Conclusions Women lacked concern regarding their gestational weight gain at least partly due to not receiving appropriate information from their midwives and other health professionals. The health professionals were in turn unsure of what to advise women regarding appropriate gestational weight gain. By ensuring midwives and other health professionals have the knowledge, skills and opportunity to discuss weight with pregnant women, the women in turn may be more motivated to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-48
    JournalSexual & Reproductive Healthcare
    Volume2
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

    Keywords

    • focus group
    • gestation
    • health professional
    • post-natal care
    • pre-natal care
    • weight gain women

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