The aim of my PhD is to investigate effective and innovative approaches to managing weight during pregnancy and following childbirth.

This incorporates the use of technology with diet and physical activity strategies.

It is currently estimated that 30-50% of Australian women enter pregnancy overweight or obese increasing the risk of both short- and long-term adverse maternal and child health outcomes. Additionally, 30-50% of women gain excess weight during pregnancy which further increases the risk of adverse health outcomes. Many women go on to retain excess weight following pregnancy increasing the risk of long term obesity, which may further impact subsequent pregnancies. Long term obesity may also increase the risk for chronic disease.

Little is currently known about the most effective dietary and physical activity strategies to assist weight management at this life-stage. As a result interventions aimed at managing weight following childbirth have reported varied success. Further to this, women face unique and complex barriers to engaging with physical activity and healthy eating following childbirth. Knowing this, the aim of this PhD is to investigate effective and innovative approaches to weight management during pregnancy and following childbirth. This will incorporate the use of technology with diet and physical activity strategies to improve access and reduce identified barriers. The significance of this is to find an innovative acceptable methodology to reach women and support nutrition and physical activity changes to promote a healthy weight following childbirth. This has potential implication to decrease the burden of obesity, and improve health outcomes for both mothers and their children. Additionally, through the use of technology, more women who may not have previously been able to access health services may have the opportunity to do so through this research, and future
investigations following on from this research.

Researchers 

Ms Lisa Spencer, Professor Clare Collins, Dr Megan Rollo, Dr Melinda Hutchesson

Research Area 
Project type 
Scholarship
Year of funding 
2015