Women’s Views on Advice About Weight Gain in Pregnancy: A Grounded Theory Study
Maternal and Child Health Journal
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Objectives: Pregnant women prioritize the health of their pregnancy, and weight gain contributes to the pregnancy’s health. Women encounter different messages about gestational weight gain from various sources that can be confusing. This study aimed to increase our understanding of the processes influencing how women experience the gestational weight gain advice they receive. Methods: Grounded theory methodology was chosen. Women receiving prenatal care in a primary care setting were invited to participate in one-on-one interviews. Results: All fifteen participants had high educational attainment, fourteen were Caucasian, and five had an elevated pre-pregnancy body mass index. Six interconnected themes emerged from the data: (1) striving to have a healthy pregnancy; (2) experiencing influences; (3) feeling worried; (4) Managing ambiguity; (5) trusting a source of information; and (6) feeling relief. Conclusions for Practice: Physicians are perceived by pregnant women to be a source of trusted information about gestational weight gain and are therefore in a strategic position to help women achieve healthy weight gain during pregnancy.