Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 6, e567-e573, November 2020

Midwife readiness to provide woman-centred weight gain support: Exploring perspectives across models of care

  • Taylor M. Guthrie
    Corresponding author. Present address: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Level 2 Dr James Mayne Building, Cnr Butterfield St and Bowen Bridge Rd, Herston, QLD, 4029, Australia.
    School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia

    Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland, Australia
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  • Susan J. de Jersey
    School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia

    Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland, Australia
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  • Karen New
    School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia
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  • Danielle Gallegos
    School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, Australia
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Published:January 27, 2020DOI:



      More than half of women start pregnancy above a healthy weight and two-thirds gain excess weight during pregnancy, increasing the risk of complications.


      Little research has examined the influence model of care has on weight-related outcomes in pregnancy.


      To explore how continuity vs non-continuity models of midwifery care influence perceived readiness to provide woman-centred interventions with women supporting pregnancy weight gain, healthy eating and physical activity.


      Focus groups were conducted with midwives working in either continuity or non-continuity models of care at a tertiary hospital in Queensland, Australia. Focus group questions elicited elements around practices, the healthcare environment and woman-centred care skills. Findings were analysed using the Framework Approach to qualitative research.


      Four focus groups, involving 15 participants from the continuity of care model and 53 from the non-continuity model, were conducted. Continuity of care participants reported greater readiness to provide woman-centred interventions than those from non-continuity models. Barriers faced by both groups included gaps in communication training, education resources and multidisciplinary support.


      Midwives across models of care require greater support in this area, in particular training in communication and better multidisciplinary service integration to support women.


      The care model appears to influence capacity to deliver person/woman-centred interventions, highlighting the need for tailored training for the healthcare setting. The roles of other health professionals in delivering weight management interventions during pregnancy also need to be examined.


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