Supporting healthy pregnancy weight gain is a critical topic for antenatal providers due to an increasing trend of excessive weight gain during pregnancy among women of all Body Mass Index (BMI) categories as well as the associated health risks for the mother and child. Risks to the mother include cesarean birth, gestational diabetes, hypertensive disorders, and premature rupture of membranes. And to the baby: fetal over- or undergrowth, preterm birth, and child obesity, diabetes, and hypertension later in childhood.
To address these issues, the Canadian Obesity Network formed a national working group of nurses, midwives, primary care physicians, obstetricians, researchers, and policymakers to adapt the network's 5As of Obesity Management toolkit for pregnancy. The 5As approach takes the provider through a sequence of steps—Ask, Assess, Advise, Agree and Assist—to ensure sensitive, realistic, measurable, and sustainable obesity management strategies that focus on improving health and well-being rather than simply moving numbers on a scale.
The new 5As of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain
toolkit, which includes a practitioner guide, practitioner checklist, and presentation, helps primary care providers discuss and manage gestational weight with their patients. The toolkit is available from the Canadian Obesity Network
Perinatal Services BC was part of the national working group and is now leading a provincial advisory committee and working group to develop a training strategy on the 5As of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain for primary maternity care providers.
The goals of the training strategy are to:
- increase care provider awareness of the Institute of Medicine gestational weight gain guidelines;
- increase their awareness of the evidence identifying excessive gestational weight gain as an independent and modifiable risk factor for a range of maternal, obstetrical, infant, and child outcomes; and
- increase their confidence and competence to engage women in effective gestational weight gain counselling and healthy behavior change.
- Training will include an accredited online education module as well as in-person regional workshops. PSBC is working with the Continuing Professional Development Program at the UBC Faculty of Medicine to develop training and has engaged family physicians, obstetricians, registered midwives, nurse practitioners, and registered dietitians across the province.
The online module is currently being piloted and will be available in late 2015. In-person training will take place in early 2016. If you are interested in either of these, please email Lubna Ekramoddoullah
, Communications Officer, and she will contact you when the training is available.