Weight management guides for pregnant women with a body mass index (BMI)≥30kg/m2

Debbie M Smith, Christine Ward, Shareen Forbes, Rebecca Reynolds, Fiona C Denison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Maternal obesity (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥ 30kg/m2) is associated with numerous maternal and fetal complications. Recent guidelines have called for advice to be given to women as pregnancy is a good time for intervention as due to women’s motivations for change being high and changes may impact on the wider family. Weight management guides can provide relevant lifestyle information for women but little is known about their use in pregnancy. This study examined whether weight management guides, designed for women with a BMI > 30kg/m2, are accessible and appropriate for pregnant women with a BMI ≥ 40kg/m2. Design: A cross-sectional qualitative study. Setting: Scotland, United Kingdom (UK). Method: Fourteen pregnant women attending a high-risk antenatal clinic for women with a BMI ≥ 40kg/m2 were interviewed. A semi-structured topic guide was used to explore the women’s views towards the content and layout of the two weight management guides. Results: Inductive thematic analysis highlighted four themes which summarized the women’s views towards the weight management guides: professionalism; personal; handy tool for behaviour change; and detail. The guides were well received and several features played an integral part in the women liking them: the goal grid; suitable pictures; appealing layout; relevant case stories; and alternative food choices/exercise tips. Conclusion: Limitations include the possible increased motivation of women who were recruited from a specialized antenatal clinic for very severely obese women. Weight management guides as an antenatal behaviour change intervention need researching in terms of impact on gestational weight gain and maternal and fetal outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-221
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Maternal obesity and antenatal care
  • weight management


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