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Healthy Eating and Lifestyle in Pregnancy

Document type: Projects: In progress/completed
Document language: English
Uploaded By: Allan Colver (allancolver)
Date Uploaded: 2012/01/13 11:35:19.458 GMT+1
URL to a webpage or document based online:

Basic Information

Authors: Dr S Simpson, Cardiff University
Published on Date: 2010
Funding source project: Medical Research Council (MRC)

Around 1 in 5 pregnant women in the UK are obese. Obesity is linked generally to poor health and also pregnancy complications. Retaining weight gain following pregnancy can lead to long-term obesity. There is evidence that excess maternal weight gain during pregnancy is associated with obesity in the child at 3 years and in adolescence, which suggests there is potential for influencing not only the mother's lifestyle but the new child's weight and the family's health behaviour. Intervening with pregnant obese women and equipping them with the skills, knowledge and support necessary to manage their weight effectively during pregnancy and after childbirth is an important step in tackling overweight and obesity among women of child bearing age. This study is a cluster randomised controlled trial which will examine whether a weight management intervention for obese pregnant women, which targets physical activity and healthy eating, is effective in reducing women's BMI at 12 months from giving birth and at what cost. Secondary outcomes include; pregnancy weight gain, quality of life, mental health, waist-hip ratio, child weight centile, admission to neonatal unit, diet, physical activity, pregnancy and birth complications, social support, self regulation and self efficacy. Twenty maternity units will be recruited and midwives will be trained in recruitment and the intervention. These units will be randomised, ten to the intervention group and ten to the control group. We will recruit women over 18 with a BMI of =30 between 12 and 20 weeks gestation, 570 women will be recruited allowing for a drop out of 30%. Those women attending the maternity units randomised to the intervention group will attend a weekly, 1.5 hour specialist weight management and physical activity support group run jointly by 'Slimming World' and midwives. At each session weight will be monitored and advice given regarding diet, lifestyle and pregnancy. Slimming World advice is similar to that advised for pregnancy and for breastfeeding mothers and offers a balanced unrestricted diet. Additional exercise recommendations will encourage graded, supervised increases in daily physical activity through a walking programme. Women attending control units will receive usual care and a leaflet giving advice on diet and physical activity. Women will be followed up at 36 weeks gestation, 6 weeks post birth, six months and one year after birth. Positive results are likely to lead to refinement and roll-out of the intervention.

Riche Classification

Demography: All , First year of life: , 1-6 months , 7-12 months , Gestation: , Infant (first year of life / baby not walking): ,
Child Related Topics: Health care involving children , Midwives , Other health workers ,
Health issues, determinants and measures: Family planning; Reproductive Health and Childbirth , Food and nourishment , Sports and physical activity , Health-enhancing physical activity ,
Languages and Geographical Perspective: English ,
Study type / scale / state of progress / setting: Randomised controlled trial , Evaluation research - of policy or of practice, interventions. , Health care facility , Ongoing ,