Adopting a healthy lifestyle when pregnant and obese – an interview study three years after childbirth
How to support pregnant women with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 to make healthy lifestyle changes and limit gestational weight gain is described from the women’s perspective in this newly published study from Gothenburg.
Seventeen women who had participated in a lifestyle intervention during pregnancy (Mighty Mums/Viktiga Mammor) were interviewed 3 years postpartum.
- Thematic analysis revealed four themes:
- The child as the main motivation for making healthy changes;
- A need to be seen and supported on own terms to establish healthy routines;
- Being able to manage healthy activities and own weight; and
- Need for additional support to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Conclusions are that the antenatal care provider should:
- Address women’s weight in a non-judgmental way using BMI, and provide accurate and appropriate information about the benefits of limited gestational weight gain;
- Support the woman on her own terms in a collaborative relationship with the midwife;
- Work in partnership to give the woman the tools to self-manage healthy activities, and
- Give continued personal support and monitoring to maintain healthy eating and regular physical activity habits after childbirth involving also the partner and family.