Towards an understanding of pregnancy weight gain in African-American women
Susan W. Groth, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC; Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN
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Problem: A large proportion of women gain more weight than is needed during pregnancy. This is a major health issue because excessive gestational weight gain contributes to postpartum weight retention, which contributes to long term obesity in women and their offspring. African-American women in particular have high rates of obesity with half (49.6%) classified as obese and 14.2% as grade 3 obesity (BMI>=40kg/m2).
Theoretical base: A common construct across multiple behavior change theories, including social cognitive theory, is that behavior change is impacted by personal factors including risk appraisal and motivation to change.
Purpose: In order to determine the perspective of pregnant African-American women on weight gain in pregnancy we conducted formative work to elicit these antecedents to behavior change.
Method: Focus groups were conducted using rigorous approaches (e.g., trained moderator, standardized interview guide, taped transcripts analyzed verbatim) with 26 impoverished African-American women (age range 18-39 years).
Results: Between- and within- group analyses identified four themes: (a) Weight gain, no matter how much, means a healthy baby, (b) There is a limit: Weight gain impact on appearance, (c) Reluctant acceptance: It happens, and (d) Nebulous plans for controlling weight. These women clearly identified the need for weight gain to ensure a healthy baby. However, there was a great tolerance with amount of weight they could gain before it became unacceptable. Although they identified a few strategies for controlling weight (e.g. reducing fried foods), most women were unenthusiastic and half-hearted about controlling gestational weight gain.
Conclusions/Implications: The negative impact of excessive pregnancy weight gain on the infant was not identified. Intolerance of weight gain was almost exclusively due to appearance; it was never related to health risks. Understanding women's appraisal of risk and motivation to address excessive weight gain in pregnancy is key to successful intervention development tailored for this population.
41st Biennial Convention - 29 October-2 November 2011. Theme: People and Knowledge: Connecting for Global Health. Held at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center.
Items submitted to a conference/event were evaluated/peer-reviewed at the time of abstract submission to the event. No other peer-review was provided prior to submission to the Henderson Repository, unless otherwise noted.
|Review Type||Abstract Review Only: Reviewed by Event Host|
Gestational Weight Gain;
|Name||41st Biennial Convention: People and Knowledge: Connecting for Global Health|
|Host||Sigma Theta Tau International|
|Location||Grapevine, Texas, USA|
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