Back to Journals » International Journal of Women's Health » Volume 5

Counseling about gestational weight gain and healthy lifestyle during pregnancy: Canadian maternity care providers' self-evaluation

Authors Ferraro ZM, Boehm KS, Gaudet LM, Adamo KB

Received 4 June 2013

Accepted for publication 31 July 2013

Published 30 September 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 629—636


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Zachary M Ferraro,1 Kaitlin S Boehm,1 Laura M Gaudet,2,3 Kristi B Adamo1,4,5

1Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; 2Horizon Health Network, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; 4School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, 5Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Introduction: There is discord between the recall of maternity care providers and patients when it comes to discussion of gestational weight gain (GWG) and obesity management. Few women report being advised on GWG, physical activity (PA), and nutrition, yet the majority of health care providers report discussing these topics with patients. We evaluated whether various Canadian maternal health care providers can identify appropriate GWG targets for patients with obesity and determine if providers report counseling on GWG, physical activity, and nutrition.
Methods: A valid and reliable e-survey was created using SurveyMonkey software and distributed by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada listserve. A total of 174 health care providers finished the survey. Respondents self-identified as general practitioners, obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, midwives, or registered nurses.
Results: GWG recommendations between disciplines for all body mass index categories were similar and fell within Health Canada/Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines. Of those who answered this question, 110/160 (68.8%) were able to correctly identify the maximum IOM GWG recommended for patients with obesity, yet midwives tended to recommend 0.5–1 kg more GWG (P = 0.05). PA counseling during pregnancy differed between disciplines (P < 0.01), as did nutrition counseling during pregnancy (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: In contrast to patient reports, the majority of health care providers document counseling on GWG, PA, and nutrition and appropriately identify GWG limits for obese patients. However, the content and quality of the discourse between patient and provider warrants further investigation.

Keywords: gestational weight gain, nutrition, obesity, physical activity, pregnancy

Creative Commons License © 2013 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.