'Blooming together' improves mum and baby outcome

May 26, 2014 by Anke Van Eekelen
Dr Gibson believes progress can be made with small changes in behaviour and the way the women and their families think and approach food. Credit: Nana B Agyei

A new model of maternity care tailored to women with obesity has been developed by WA researchers in partnership with pregnant women dealing with eating disorders.

'Blooming Together' (BT) is an intervention program that addresses the health implications of obesity and excessive during for the mother and her child.

A recent study reports that about one third of Australian pregnant women are overweight or obese, putting them and their unborn babies at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes—like pregnancy complications and preterm birth.

There is also a greater chance of the child developing obesity later in life.

In eight group-based sessions, women at similar gestational stages met to receive their routine antenatal check-up and to participate in facilitated discussions around a healthy life style and weight gain management during pregnancy.

"The key is getting the women into the program early," says Dr Lisa Gibson, Healthway postdoctoral research fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute (TKI).

Intense consultation with obese pregnant women participants of the consumer reference and focus groups found that many women realise too late that their weight gain during pregnancy is of concern to their health, and the baby's.

They also found personalised dietary recommendations were made too late for a chance of success. Such guidelines to a healthier pregnancy only help if the women proactively set goals before they gain extra weight.

"We are not asking the women to severely restrict their diet or join a gym," Dr Gibson says.

She believes progress can be made with small changes in behaviour and the way the women and their families think and approach food.

"Hopefully a program like this can prevent obesity in the next generation."

Dr Gibson and colleagues from TKI and King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) recently presented their consumer participation based research approach at the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease 'DOHAD' Society of Australia and New Zealand conference.

The BT program is a step-up from KEMH's standard model of antenatal care for obese pregnant .

Dr Gibson and BT manager Anna Fletcher have received State Government funding to commence a pilot study at KEMH shortly.

BT's feasibility in the community will be tested in association with the Woodbridge Womens Clinic in Rockingham.

The evaluation process will also consider how best to engage general practitioners to ensure that obese will be referred to the program as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed.

Explore further: Body image impacts on weight gain during pregnancy

More information: The complete report is available online: www.healthnetworks.health.wa.gov.au/docs/network/report_Blooming%20Together_September%202013.pdf

Related Stories

Body image impacts on weight gain during pregnancy

September 30, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—How women perceive their bodies during pregnancy and how that impacts on their weight gain has been the subject of a new study by University of Adelaide researchers.

Pregnancy study leads to fewer high birth weight babies

February 14, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—The world's biggest study offering healthy eating and exercise advice to pregnant women who are overweight or obese has shown a significant reduction in the number of babies born over 4kg in weight.

Attitude during pregnancy affects weight gain

February 26, 2014

Overweight or obese women with the mentality that they are "eating for two" are more likely to experience excessive weight gain while pregnant, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

Overweight moms may have dangerously big babies

March 7, 2014

(HealthDay)—Pregnancy isn't a license to gain weight, say researchers who have found that heavier moms-to-be tend to have fatter babies at greater risk for serious health issues.

Recommended for you

Bright lighting encourages healthy food choices

May 26, 2016

Dining in dimly lit restaurants has been linked to eating slowly and ultimately eating less than in brighter restaurants, but does lighting also impact how healthfully we order?

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.