Background Obesity amongst women of child bearing age is increasing at an alarming rate. This research explores the impact and prevalence of maternal obesity and the need for dietetic support services which include antenatal interventions designed to reduce burden. Methods Conducted using a post-positivist, pragmatic approach this PhD employs a mixed methods design to answer the research questions. Phase 1 contains a review of the literature, phase 2 consists of a retrospective cohort study, phase 3 outlines focus groups discussions with antenatal care professionals, phase 4 comprises individual interviews undertaken with obese, pregnant women and phase 5 outlines an innovative, design-based approach to the prevention of maternal obesity. Results Key issues were identified regarding how obese women may be better managed during pregnancy. Obese pregnant women need and want help in knowing how to have a healthy pregnancy. Maternity care providers need and want help to educate and support these women. An innovative smart phone application was developed to support women be healthy in pregnancy. Conclusions Maternal obesity is a growing issue. The support and implementation of specialist dietary interventions before, during and after pregnancy should be a priority for healthcare services. One innovative approach to the prevention and management of maternal obesity is a smart phone application that provides women with nutrition information and the function to monitor their own gestational weight.
|Date of Award||2016|
|Supervisor||Lauren Williams (Supervisor), Deborah Davis (Supervisor) & Rachel Davey (Supervisor)|