The return of weighing in pregnancy: A discussion of evidence and practice

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Women and Birth, 2019
Issue Date:
2019-01-01
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© 2019 Australian College of Midwives Background: Inadequate or excessive gestational weight gain is associated with both short and long-term adverse maternal and infant health outcomes. The practice of routine maternal weight monitoring has been suggested as an effective health promotion intervention, both as a screening tool for adverse maternal and infant outcomes and as a weight management strategy for addressing gestational weight gain. Discussion: The effectiveness of routine maternal weighing as part of maternity care has been debated for more than 30 years. The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia have recently revised their pregnancy care clinical practice guidelines recommending maternal weight monitoring (clinician and/or self-weighing) be reintroduced into clinical practice. This paper presents a timely discussion of the topic that will contribute new insights to the debate. Conclusion: Weight gain in pregnancy is complex. Evaluation of the translation, implementation, acceptability and uptake of the newly revised guidelines is warranted, given that evidence on the practice remains inconclusive. Future research exploring social ecological interventions to assist pregnant women achieve optimal gestational weight gains are suggested to expand the evidence base.
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