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Offering weight management support to pregnant women with high body mass index: A qualitative study with midwives

Journal article
Authors Ellinor K. Olander
Frida Berg
Marie Berg
Anna Dencker
Published in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
Volume 20
Pages 81-86
ISSN 1877-5756
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 81-86
Language en
Keywords Antenatal health care, Experiences, High body mass index, Midwives, Obesity, Pregnancy, Qualitative interview study, Support
Subject categories Nursing


© 2019 Objective: The prevalence of pregnant women with high body mass index is increasing worldwide. High body mass index is associated with health risks for mother and baby and supporting healthy gestational weight gain is important. Midwives play an important role in supporting women to engage in behaviours such as healthy eating and physical activity. The aim of this study was to explore how midwives’ support pregnant women with high body mass index to establish a healthy lifestyle with emphasis on nutrition and physical activity in order to minimise gestational weight gain. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 midwives working in antenatal health care in Sweden. Interviews were conducted shortly after new guidelines on care for pregnant women with high body mass index had been introduced. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed by thematic analysis. Results: Three main themes were identified; use a conscious approach, invite to participate and have a long-term health perspective. Midwives built a relationship with a woman through identifying her concerns and circumstances, before sensitively discussing weight. Some midwives used Motivational Interviewing to help women identify their own resources. To reach long-term health benefits, midwives set achievable goals with the women. Conclusion: These study findings provide practical examples of how midwives can support women with weight management during pregnancy. Through being sensitive when developing a relationship, midwives enabled the women to identify their own resources and achievable goals. Support after the baby is born is needed subsequently to help women maintain their healthy behaviour changes.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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