Raising the issue of excess weight in the pre-pregnancy period: Having supportive and non-stigmatizing conversations with patients

Laura McGowan, Julia McClelland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Obesity is a complex global public health issue with the prevalence estimated to have tripled since 1975. This means that many more adults conceive a pregnancy when living with excess weight. Research shows that maternal overweight and obesity are associated with poorer outcomes for mum and baby, with increasing evidence also for the negative impact of poor paternal preconception health on outcomes. Some consider pregnancy a ‘teachable moment’, in so much as women have frequent appointments with healthcare providers and may be thinking about their and their babies' health; however, it may be ‘too little, too late’ to see the health benefits from lifestyle modification. Additionally, weight loss is not recommended for women during pregnancy. Taken together, this highlights the value of addressing health in the preconception and inter-conception periods. Yet, with a growing awareness of the pervasive nature of weight stigma and its negative implications for those living with obesity, there is a need to address weight in a supportive and well-informed manner to facilitate healthy behaviour change in patients and reduce health risks for women and their babies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Birth and Parent Education
Volume9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 04 Apr 2022

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