Supporting healthy pregnancy weight gain is a critical topic for primary care providers.
There is an increasing trend of excessive weight gain during pregnancy among women of all Body Mass Index categories as well as associated health risks for the mother and child.
The 5As of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain Toolkit, developed the Canadian Obesity Network, addresses these issues. 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 toolkit, which includes a practitioner guide, practitioner checklist, and presentation, is available at www.obesitynetwork.ca/pregnancy.
Perinatal Services BC has launched a new online training module for the 5As of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain designed for family physicians, obstetricians, nurse practitioners, midwives, dietitians, and all primary care providers working in perinatal care. The training is free and accredited (1 Mainpro-M1 / MOC Section 1).
The module includes:
- key pregnancy weight gain information for care providers;
- useful counselling techniques;
- practical resources;
- case scenarios;
- peer-to-peer discussion; and
After completing the course, care providers will be able to:
- highlight the importance of healthy gestational weight gain;
- counsel patients about healthy pregnancy weight gain;
- develop a practical approach for applying the 5As framework in a busy health care setting; and
- identify resources to support the adoption of behaviours that facilitate healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
PSBC worked in collaboration with a provincial advisory committee, working group, and the UBC Continuing Professional Development Program in the Faculty of Medicine to develop training. PSBC also engaged family physicians, obstetricians, registered midwives, nurse practitioners, and registered dietitians across the province.
Given the sensitive nature of weight gain for patients, care providers may also be interested in the UBC CPD course Optimizing Communication for Excellence in Patient Care. The course presents a four-stage communication framework useful in a variety of clinical situations and relationships with the goal of improving patient outcomes and satisfaction.