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Title: Exploring the issue of weight management before, during and after pregnancy
Author: Allen-Walker, Virginia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 2265
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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Overweight and obesity in pregnancy, alongside excessive gestational weight gain, present increased risks of adverse maternal and child outcomes. In the UK, there are no evidence-based guidelines for appropriate weight gain in pregnancy, and NICE (2008) antenatal guidance recommends weighing only at the booking-in appointment. However, in parallel with the general population, prevalence rates of overweight and obesity in pregnancy are increasing, presenting challenges to the healthcare system. NICE (2010) guidance on weight management and pregnancy have specified research recommendations to determine effective approaches to help women to manage their weight before, during and after pregnancy, and to determine whether available Institute of Medicine (2009) guidelines on gestational weight gain from the USA are suitable for use in a UK population. These research recommendations form the basis for the aims and objectives of the PhD thesis, broadly, exploring the issue of weight management before, during and after pregnancy. An exploratory approach was used to address the research objectives; qualitative interview studies were used to explore the issue of weight management and pregnancy, and routine weighing, from the perspective of health professionals, pregnant women and postnatal women. Feasibility studies were utilised to investigate approaches to raising awareness of preconception care among women of childbearing-age. Feasibility studies suggest it is plausible to raise awareness of preconception care in community pharmacy and family planning clinic settings. Qualitative research presented in this thesis found women do not report making significant changes to health behaviours in preparation for pregnancy, and health professionals viewed the preconception period as an appropriate time to target weight management. Women are concerned about their weight in pregnancy and seek out additional information on the issue, feeling health professionals are well placed to provide this support. Conversely, health professionals perceive women to be unaware of the risks associated with obese pregnancy and sensitive to having it discussed. Postnatal women who were weighed throughout pregnancy reported several benefits to the practice, suggesting the practice is acceptable to pregnant women.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available