What are the experiences of women with obesity receiving antenatal maternity care? A scoping review of qualitative evidence

Lauren Saw, Wintnie Aung, Linda Sweet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Problem: Obesity is a major public health problem and is rising in prevalence in child-bearing women. The complications of pregnancy in women with obesity are well documented. Pregnant women with obesity require different maternity care considerations to normal weight women. How women respond to the care of health professionals, determines how likely they will be to engage with it, and thus research into the current care experiences of women with obesity is valuable. Objective: The purpose of this scoping review was to examine the evidence of the antenatal maternity care experiences of women with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2). Method: A systematic literature search was conducted for English language publications 2008–2018 using Medline, Scopus, PsycINFO and CINAHL. Following critical appraisal, and a search of the reference lists of primary articles, 17 articles resulted for this review. A thematic synthesis process was used to collate the findings. Findings: Four major themes were identified: 1) inconsistent or absent information regarding weight management, 2) the stigma and stereotyping associated with their obesity, 3) medicalisation and depersonalisation of pregnant women with obesity, and 4) a desire for information and need for change. Conclusion: The findings suggested that based on women's experiences there is a need for improved education and communication for health care professionals when caring for pregnant women with obesity. Some conflicting information from women in the studies highlight the need for further research in the area, and the implementation of individualised care and continuity of care for pregnant women with obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalWomen and Birth
Early online date4 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Maternal obesity
  • Midwifery
  • Pregnant women
  • Review
  • Stigma

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