New study: Implementing weight management during and after pregnancy

The review seeks to identify current obstacles in weight management research during and after pregnancy and explore evidence-based strategies to overcome them. 

For women living with overweight or obesity, there are constant environmental challenges that make health behaviour change hard. Pregnancy and the postpartum period are equally challenging for this population. The research world is well aware of this and there are plenty of interventions and studies that show if we improve a woman’s health behaviours, they gain real health benefits for themselves and their baby such as fewer pregnancy and birth complications, and the prevention of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

While this is promising news, we have a problem with translating tightly controlled studies into the real world and health systems. Our review paper published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society looks closely at this issue.

What does the paper cover?

We unpack why weight management matters in pregnancy and beyond, what interventions work and whether they are cost effective. We discuss the challenges faced by mothers and the potential solutions we have at our disposal to support them engaging in health behaviour change. Implementation science is a key piece to the puzzle – we explore what the main frameworks are and how they can be powerful tools to understanding what is going on within health systems that can help or hinder progress. The last area we look at is ongoing implementation studies that are trying to address the barriers that exist for women and their families to health behaviour change.

Our very own Bump2Baby and Me intervention is described within the paper. This year marks the close of the trial so the team are very much looking forward to seeing the results materialise this year. 2024 is going to be exciting!

by Sharleen O’Reilly


O’Reilly SL, McAuliffe FM, Geraghty AA, Burden C, Davies A. Implementing weight management during and after pregnancy to reduce diabetes and CVD risk in maternal and child populationsProceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2023:1-12. doi:10.1017/S0029665123004883.