Barriers to and facilitators for addressing overweight and obesity before conception: A qualitative study.
Published on Sep 1, 2021in Women and Birth2.308
· DOI :10.1016/J.WOMBI.2020.09.025
Abstract Background Obesity is a significant global health issue, especially for reproductive-aged women. Women who enter pregnancy overweight or obese are at increased risk of a range of adverse reproductive, maternal, and child health outcomes. The preconception period has been recognised as a critical time to intervene to improve health outcomes for women and their children. Despite this recognition, adequate information is significantly lacking in relation to women’s health experiences, behaviours, and information preferences to inform the development of high-quality preconception intervention strategies. Aim This study aimed to examine women’s perspectives of barriers, enablers, and strategies for addressing overweight and obesity before conception. Method Using a qualitative research design, twelve multiparous women, aged between 32 and 43 years, who considered themselves to be overweight or obese were interviewed. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings Three themes were identified in relation to barriers: lack of information and knowledge, time constraints, and affordability. The following four themes emerged with respect to enablers and strategies: knowledge provision, accountability and motivation, regular contact, and habit formation. Conclusion Key factors to incorporate in women-centred interventions for preconception weight loss include multi-faceted knowledge provision and practical affordable methods for supporting healthy behaviours. Interventions should integrate techniques for ensuring regular contact with support networks, to enhance accountability, motivation, and facilitate habit formation. Further research is now being conducted by our team to co-design interventions and strategies informed by these findings.