“Everything is revolved around me being heavy … it’s always, always spoken about.” Qualitative experiences of weight management during pregnancy in women with a BMI of 40kg/m 2 or above

FAIR, Frankie J., WATSON, Helen, MARVIN-DOWLE, Katie, SPENCER, Rachael and SOLTANI, Hora (2022). “Everything is revolved around me being heavy … it’s always, always spoken about.” Qualitative experiences of weight management during pregnancy in women with a BMI of 40kg/m 2 or above. PLOS ONE, 17 (6): e0270470.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0270470


Introduction: Maternal weight management services have been recognised as a good opportunity to influence lifestyle and dietary behaviour of mothers and families. Exploring women’s views of maternal weight management services is paramount to understand what constitutes the most suitable service. This study therefore explored experiences among women with a raised body mass index (BMI) of maternal weight management service provision and the barriers and facilitators to weight management during pregnancy. Method: Thirteen women with a BMI≥40kg/m² undertook semi-structured interviews around weight management experiences during pregnancy. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive thematic analysis was undertaken. Results: Four themes emerged. 1). "Understanding where I am at" showed current readiness and motivation of women varied, from being avoidant to being motivated to make changes. 2). "Getting information" revealed inconsistent information provision during pregnancy. Women particularly wanted practical advice. Some attempted to find this for themselves from friends or the internet, however this left some women feeling confused when different sources provided inconsistent advice. 3). "Difficulties I face" identified physical, emotional and financial barriers and the strategies some women used to overcome these. 4). "Encountering professionals–a mixed experience" demonstrated women wanted to be treated with respect and sensitivity and that how weight management information was addressed was more important than who provided it. The fine line professionals tread was demonstrated by women thinking that they had received inadequate information and yet too much focus was placed on their weight and the associated risks during pregnancy without practical solutions to their weight management challenges. Discussion: Women were empowered when practical advice was provided, not just the continual repetition of the risks of being obese during pregnancy. Antenatal weight management services need to be clear, sensitive and respectful. Services centred on individual women’s needs and on their current and previous experiences are required. The psychological and social contexts of weight management also need to be addressed.

Item Type: Article
Editor - Spradley, Frank T.
Additional Information: ** From PLOS via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ **Journal IDs: eissn 1932-6203 **Article IDs: publisher-id: pone-d-21-20430 **History: published_online 24-06-2022; accepted 10-06-2022; collection 2022; submitted 22-06-2021
Uncontrolled Keywords: Research Article, Medicine and health sciences, Biology and life sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0270470
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2022 13:41
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 11:17
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30381

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