Maternal dietary intake and physical activity habits during the postpartum period: associations with clinician advice in a sample of Australian first time mothers

van der Pligt, P., Olander, E. K., Ball, K., Crawford, D., Hesketh, K, D., Teychenne, M. & Campbell, K. (2016). Maternal dietary intake and physical activity habits during the postpartum period: associations with clinician advice in a sample of Australian first time mothers. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 16(27), doi: 10.1186/s12884-016-0812-4

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Abstract

Background

Numerous health benefits are associated with achieving optimal diet and physical activity behaviours during and after pregnancy. Understanding predictors of these behaviours is an important public health consideration, yet little is known regarding associations between clinician advice and diet and physical activity behaviours in postpartum women. The aims of this study were to compare the frequency of dietary and physical activity advice provided by clinicians during and after pregnancy and assess if this advice is associated with postpartum diet and physical activity behaviours.

Methods

First time mothers (n = 448) enrolled in the Melbourne InFANT Extend trial completed the Cancer Council of Australia’s Food Frequency Questionnaire when they were three to four months postpartum, which assessed usual fruit and vegetable intake (serves/day). Total physical activity time, time spent walking and time in both moderate and vigorous activity for the previous week (min/week) were assessed using the Active Australia Survey. Advice received during and following pregnancy were assessed by separate survey items, which asked whether a healthcare practitioner had discussed eating a healthy diet and being physically active. Linear and logistic regression assessed associations of advice with dietary intake and physical activity.

Results

In total, 8.6 % of women met guidelines for combined fruit and vegetable intake. Overall, mean total physical activity time was 350.9 ± 281.1 min/week. Time spent walking (251.97 ± 196.78 min/week), was greater than time spent in moderate (36.68 ± 88.58 min/week) or vigorous activity (61.74 ± 109.96 min/week) and 63.2 % of women were meeting physical activity recommendations. The majority of women reported they received advice regarding healthy eating (87.1 %) and physical activity (82.8 %) during pregnancy. Fewer women reported receiving healthy eating (47.5 %) and physical activity (51.9 %) advice by three months postpartum. There was no significant association found between provision of dietary and/or physical activity advice, and mother’s dietary intakes or physical activity levels.

Conclusions

Healthy diet and physical activity advice was received less after pregnancy than during pregnancy yet no association between receipt of advice and behaviour was observed. More intensive approaches than provision of advice may be required to promote healthy diet and physical activity behaviours in new mothers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pregnancy, postpartum, maternal, advice, health professional, diet, physical activity
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: School of Health Sciences
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/13495

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