Health professionals and pregnant women: Comparing knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of lifestyle behaviours during pregnancy

Cathy Knight-Agarwal, Bridget Cockburn, Michelle Minehan, Monica Yuri Takito

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstract


Aim: Pregnancy is often described as an influential life stage for women, where regular contact with health professionals may play an important role in their health and lifestyle awareness. This study explored the knowledge, practices and beliefs of health professionals and pregnant women regarding physical activity, nutrition and weight management during the antenatal period. Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken in South Eastern Australia, of individual interviews with eligible participants. Recruitment sought women of gestation >12 weeks, experiencing an uncomplicated pregnancy (n=6) and antenatal health professionals (n=5) including midwives (n=4) and an obstetrician (n=1). Data was analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Results: Four major themes emerged: (1) Women rely on multiple sources of pregnancy-related health information; (2) Discussions around nutrition and exercise are low priority and often inconsistent; (3) Sensitive topics make some conversations difficult; (4) Barriers exist to behavioural change in pregnancy. Pregnant women expressed gaps in lifestyle-related knowledge and education being provided by health professionals. In turn, health professionals expressed difficulty discussing sensitive topics with pregnant women and had limited knowledge of Clinical Practice Pregnancy Care Guidelines. Conclusions: The themes generated by this study form the foundation for further research to inform clinical policy and practice regarding lifestyle advice in antenatal care.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2021
EventDietitians Australia 2021 Conference - Virtual, Australia
Duration: 11 Jul 202113 Jul 2021


ConferenceDietitians Australia 2021 Conference
Internet address


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