Online Program

Exploring Women's Perspectives on Effective Interventions to Promote Healthy Eating and Exercise During Pregnancy

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Julia Lopez, PhD, MPH, LCSW, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
Rosemary Catanzaro, RD, SSM St. Mary's Hospital, Saint Louis, MO
Amy Flick, MD, SSM St. Mary's Health Center, Saint Louis, MO
Emily Human, BS, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
Katherine Mathews, MD, MPH, MBA, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
Collin Miller, MSW, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
Dorothea Mostello, MD, SSM St. Mary's Health Center, Saint Louis, MO
Tracy Tomlinson, MD, SSM St. Mary's Health Center, Saint Louis, MO
Background: Almost 3 in 5 U.S. women of reproductive age are now classified as overweight or obese and are at risk for a number of medical complications during pregnancy and childbirth. To date, there is limited evidence to guide effective strategies for limiting pregnancy weight gain in this population.  This qualitative and formative study sought input from women who had previously engaged in research testing a behavioral intervention to promote exercise and healthy eating during pregnancy.  The goal was to solicit input from participants about ways in which the intervention was helpful or not and also to explore more fully social supports and competing responsibilities that may have had an impact on the ability to participate fully in the intervention.

Methods: Pregnant women who had been randomized to either the behavioral nutrition and physical activity intervention or the control group were asked to participate in a 60 minute semi-structured qualitative study. The study explored barriers, like mood, and facilitators of success, like increased energy, when attending the prior study visits and adhering to recommended lifestyle behavior changes.

Results: At the end of the qualitative study, intervention participants, overall, expressed increased knowledge, energy and perceived behavioral control about appropriate nutrition and physical activity during pregnancy.  

Conclusions: This qualitative study provides essential information to inform development of a larger scale intervention. It also demonstrates that pregnant women are eager to learn more about behavioral nutritional and physical activity and may benefit from a variety of educational and support programs.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate achievement of weight maintenance and postpartum weight loss targets in obese pregnancy women across all three obesity classes. Explain the barriers that kept women from keeping appointments and reaching their weight goals during their pregnancy.

Keyword(s): Maternal and Child Health, Prenatal Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have had research and clinical experience in maternal and child health during prenatal care. I have worked in research interventions in regards to reducing obesity in pregnant women and decreasing risky health outcomes in newborns.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.