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Keeping the Balance: promoting physical activity and healthy dietary behaviour in pregnancy

Warren, Lucie 2013. Keeping the Balance: promoting physical activity and healthy dietary behaviour in pregnancy. PhD Thesis, Swansea University (College of Human and Health Sciences).

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Gaining large amounts of weight during pregnancy may contribute to development of obesity and is associated with poor outcomes. Therefore managing gestational weight gain is important to reduce the risk of complications. This thesis aims to explore clinical and personal management of gestational weight gain and to discover how pregnant women can be best supported to maintain physical activity and healthy dietary behaviours. This is achieved through a programme of research comprising three related studies. Study One explored the antenatal clinical management of weight and weight gain through one-to-one interviews with Antenatal Clinical Midwifery Managers across Wales (n=11). Findings showed wide variation in management of weight from unit to unit. Although midwives believed pregnancy to be a perfect opportunity to encourage healthier behaviours, many identified barriers preventing them discussing weight with women. In Study Two semi-structured interviews with pregnant women (n=15) investigated views on personal weight management during pregnancy. Again pregnancy was seen as an ideal time to improve health behaviours due to a perceived increase in motivation and many women identified specific goals. However, in the face of various barriers, it was apparent that the motivation which initially identified healthy lifestyle goals was unable to sustain this behaviour throughout the pregnancy. Finally Study Three looked at the feasibility and acceptability of a midwife-led intervention informed by the two preliminary studies. The ‘Eat Well Keep Active’ intervention programme designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity in pregnant women (n=20) was based upon the Self Determination Theory framework for enhancing and maintaining motivation and utilised motivational interviewing. Results indicated that the intervention was received well by participants who reported that it positively influenced their health behaviours. The ‘Eat Well Keep Active’ programme may be a suitable intervention to encourage and facilitate women to pursue a healthier lifestyle throughout their pregnancy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Funders: Research Capacity Building Collaboration, Wales PhD Fellowship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:33

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