Discussions| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P473-478, September 2020

Co-designing preconception and pregnancy care for healthy maternal lifestyles and obesity prevention

  • Ruth Walker
    Corresponding authors.
    Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 41-52 Kanooka Grove, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
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  • Heather Morris
    Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 41-52 Kanooka Grove, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
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  • Sarah Lang
    Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Level 1 264 Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill, Victoria 3168, Australia
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  • Kerry Hampton
    Department of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton Road, Clayton, Victoria, 3168, Australia
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  • Jacqueline Boyle
    Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 41-52 Kanooka Grove, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
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  • Helen Skouteris
    Corresponding authors.
    Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, 41-52 Kanooka Grove, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia

    Warwick Business School, Warwick University, Coventry, CV4 7AL, United Kingdom
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Published:December 04, 2019DOI:



      A recognised gap exists between current and recommended practices in the provision of lifestyle advice and weight management support for women across preconception and pregnancy care.


      Preconception and pregnancy are critical stages for promoting healthy maternal lifestyles and obesity prevention. Co-design is a novel approach with the potential to strengthen existing models of care to facilitate the implementation of clinical practice guidelines promoting preconception and pregnancy health, especially in relation to preconception weight management and preventing excessive gestational weight gain.

      Aim and methods

      The aims of this discussion paper are to (i) define co-design in the context of preconception and pregnancy care, (ii) outline key considerations when planning co-design initiatives and (iii) describe co-design opportunities in preconception and pregnancy care for promoting women’s health and obesity prevention.


      While several definitions of co-design exist, one critical element is the meaningful involvement of all key stakeholders. In this discussion, we specifically identified the involvement of women and expanding the role of practice nurses in primary care may assist to overcome barriers to the provision of healthy lifestyle advice and support for women during preconception. Co-designing pregnancy care will involve input from women, nurses, midwives, obstetricians, allied health and administration and management staff. Additional attention is required to co-design care for women considered most at-risk.


      There is potential to enhance current provision of preconception and pregnancy care using co-design. Nursing and midwifery professions are active across both preconception and pregnancy and therefore, they have an important role to play.


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