An integrative review of interventions for limiting gestational weight gain in pregnant women who are overweight or obese



      Excessive gestational weight gain in women who are overweight or obese puts them at risk of poor short- and long-term outcomes for maternal and neonatal health. Several interventions have been trialled to encourage women who are overweight or obese to limit gestational weight gain during pregnancy.


      The aim of this review was to analyse the evidence on interventions to limit gestational weight gain in pregnant women who are overweight or obese.


      An integrative review guided by the Joanna Briggs Institute approach was conducted. An unlabeled search query of pregnancy, weight, and obesity was conducted in Medline, Scopus and CINAHL, limited to English language, 2010–2020 publications, and primary research on humans. Unlabeled search query of “((pregnancy outcome) OR (prenatal care) OR (pregnancy complications)) AND ((weight loss) OR (weight gain) OR (weight management)) AND (obesity) was used. Additional 9 records were identified through reference lists. Following a critical appraisal, 21 primary research articles were included in this review. A thematic synthesis was undertaken.


      Four major themes were identified. These are (1) mixed findings of lifestyle interventions for weight management, (2) ineffectiveness of probiotics or metformin for weight management, (3) psycho-behavioural interventions for weight management, and (4) midwifery role as an integral component in multidisciplinary intervention for weight management.


      The literature suggests a need for longer duration of behavioural lifestyle intervention sessions led by the same midwife trained in motivational interviewing to limit weight gain in pregnant women who are overweight or obese.


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