Perspectives of pregnant and postpartum women and obstetric providers to promote healthy lifestyle in pregnancy and after delivery: A qualitative in-depth interview study

Manasa S. Ayyala, Janelle W. Coughlin, Lindsay Martin, Janice Henderson, Nneamaka Ezekwe, Jeanne M. Clark, Lawrence J. Appel, Wendy L. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Pregnancy provides an opportunity to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors. This study's aim was to explore the perspectives of pregnant and postpartum women and obstetric providers around behavioral lifestyle changes in pregnancy and postpartum. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study with pregnant and postpartum patients recruited from 2 prenatal care clinics at an urban, academic hospital in the United States. In-depth interviews with 23 pregnant or postpartum women and 11 obstetric providers were completed between October 2015-April 2016. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. We coded transcripts for thematic content and applied the PRECEDE-PROCEED framework for results to directly inform program development. Results: Six themes highlighted the predisposing, enabling and reinforcing factors that enable and sustain health behavior changes in pregnancy and postpartum: 1) "Motivation to have a healthy baby" during pregnancy and to "have my body back" after delivery, 2) Pre-pregnancy knowledge and experiences about pregnancy and the postpartum period, 3) Prioritizing wellness during pregnancy and postpartum, 4) The power of social support, 5) Accountability, 6) Integration with technology to reinforce behavior change. Conclusions: In this qualitative study, pregnant and postpartum women and obstetric providers described themes that are aimed at encouraging lifestyle changes to promote healthy weight gain in pregnancy and can directly inform the development of a behavioral weight management intervention for pregnant and postpartum women that is patient-centered and tailored to their needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number44
JournalBMC Women's Health
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2020

Keywords

  • Gestational weight gain
  • Health behavior
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Postpartum
  • Pregnancy
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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