Weighing women in pregnancy – a qualitative study

Cathy KNIGHT-AGARWAL, Stacey Morgan, Lorna Munroe, Ashley Gschwend, Clare Fekete

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


Globally, maternal obesity has become a serious public health issue and
contributes to increased morbidity and mortality for both mother and
child. Postpartum weight retention and excess gestational weight gain
(GWG) are established predictors of long term obesity. Therefore, encouraging appropriate GWG may influence a woman’s weight trajectory and
health status later in life. However, interestingly weighing women is not
part of routine antenatal care in Australia. This study aimed to investigate
the views and attitudes of women regarding weight monitoring in pregnancy. Within a qualitative framework, semi-structured individual interviews were undertaken within the Australian Capital Territory. Sixteen,
pregnant women participated. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and cross-checked for consistency. Interpretative
Phenomenological Analysis was employed to scrutinise the data as it offers
insights into how a person, in a given context, makes sense of a given
phenomenon. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Canberra Ethics Committee (ETH. 17-135). Three dominant themes emerged:
(1) Women are individuals not numbers (2) Weighing can be anxiety creating and sensitive to discuss (3) What women want and what women get
are often different. These findings contribute to the current debate about
the re-introduction of routine weighing throughout pregnancy. Many
women expected to be weighed during pregnancy and it was clear that
women wanted more credible information on GWG and a healthy lifestyle. As part of women centred care, weight monitoring should be routinely offered to those who desire it. More research is required.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event35th National Conference, “Think Big” - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 17 May 201819 May 2018


Conference35th National Conference, “Think Big”


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