Provision of weight management advice for obese women during pregnancy: a survey of current practice and midwives' views on future approaches

Authors

  • Maureen Macleod,

    1. Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, UK
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  • Amy Gregor,

    1. Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, UK
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  • Carol Barnett,

    1. NHS Tayside, Directorate of Public Health, Kings Cross, Clepington Road, Dundee, UK
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  • Elizabeth Magee,

    1. NHS Tayside, Directorate of Public Health, Kings Cross, Clepington Road, Dundee, UK
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  • Joyce Thompson,

    1. NHS Tayside, Directorate of Public Health, Kings Cross, Clepington Road, Dundee, UK
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  • Annie S. Anderson

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, University of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, UK
      Professor Annie S. Anderson, University of Dundee, Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, Mailbox 7, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK. E-mail: a.s.anderson@dundee.ac.uk
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Professor Annie S. Anderson, University of Dundee, Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, Mailbox 7, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK. E-mail: a.s.anderson@dundee.ac.uk

Abstract

A semi-structured, web-based questionnaire was developed to survey midwives (n = 241) employed by NHS Tayside, UK, to identify current practice and views on weight management of obese women during pregnancy and the puerperium. A total of 78 (32%) midwives submitted responses following email invitation. Most respondents (79%) reported always calculating women's body mass index (BMI) at booking, with 73% routinely explaining the BMI category. In terms of future practice for obese women, although few respondents (15%) currently offer personalised advice regarding weight management based on a woman's diet and physical activity levels, 77% of respondents thought such advice would be appropriate and 69% thought it could possibly be feasible to offer such advice. The respondents viewed weight management to be of importance and felt that universal advice is appropriate, but confidence in discussing weight management and knowledge of the subject was low. Strategies to improve midwife confidence and weight management services should include training, ongoing support and definition of the midwife's role within the multidisciplinary team to support practice in the future.

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