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

Olander, E. K., Atkinson, L., Edmunds, J. K. & French, D. P. (2011). The views of pre- and post-natal women and health professionals regarding gestational weight gain: an exploratory study. Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare, 2(1), pp. 43-48. doi: 10.1016/j.srhc.2010.10.004

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Abstract

Objectives
To explore the views of pre- and post-natal women and health professionals regarding gestational weight gain. These views may inform the design of future interventions targeting gestational weight gain.

Study Design
In total, five focus groups were conducted with pregnant women (n=9), post-natal women (n=14) and health professionals (including midwives, n=7). The focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.

Main Outcome Measures
The women’s views regarding weight gain in pregnancy and what the health professionals’ thoughts were concerning the current provision of care they provide to their patients regarding gestational weight gain.

Results
The women expressed a lack of concern regarding their weight in pregnancy, and reported not receiving any information regarding what constitutes healthy gestational weight gain. The pregnant women reported not monitoring their weight and assumed they would lose weight post-natally through breastfeeding. The health professionals reported being aware of the women’s beliefs, however lacked information to give to the women relating to healthy weight gain.

Conclusions
It is likely that the women lacked concern and knowledge regarding gestational weight gain due to not receiving information from their midwives and other health professionals regarding this issue. 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 and skills to discuss weight with pregnant women, the women in turn may be more motivated and confident in maintaining a healthy weight at this time.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Women, health professional, prenatal care, gestation, weight gain, focus group, postnatal care
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Child Health & Children's Nursing
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/2410

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