The feasibility and acceptability of regular weighing of pregnant women by community midwives to prevent excessive weight gain: RCT.
Daley A., Jolly K., Lewis A., Clifford S., Kenyon S., Roalfe AK., Jebb S., Aveyard P.
Pregnancy is a critical period for the development of later obesity. Regular weighing of pregnant women is not currently recommended in the UK. This study aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of regular weighing by community midwives (CMWs) as a potential intervention to prevent excessive gestational weight gain. Low risk healthy/overweight pregnant women cared for by eight CMWs were randomised to usual care or usual care plus the intervention at 10-14 weeks of pregnancy. The intervention involved CMWs weighing and charting weight gain on an IOM weight gain chart, setting a weight target and giving brief feedback at antenatal appointments. The focus of the study was on process evaluation outcomes. Data on other outcomes were also collected including gestational weight gain. We interviewed women and CMWs about their views of the intervention. CMWs referred 123 women, 95 agreed to participate and 76 were randomised. Over 90% of women were weighed at 38 weeks of pregnancy demonstrating high follow up. There was no evidence the intervention caused anxiety. Most women commented they had found the intervention useful in encouraging them to think about their weight and believed it should be part of routine antenatal care. CMW's felt the intervention could be implemented within antenatal care without adding substantially to consultation length. To conclude, pregnant women were keen to participate in the study and the intervention was acceptable to pregnant women and CMWs. An effectiveness trial is now planned.