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Shame and avoidance as barriers in midwives’ communication about body weight with pregnant women: A qualitative interview study
Karolinska institutet.
Karolinska institutet.
Karolinska institutet.
Göteborgs universitet.
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2018 (English)In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 63, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION:

Excessive gestational weight gain, regardless of initial BMI, is associated with perinatal risks for both mother and offspring and contributes to obesity in women. Studies report that healthcare professionals find it difficult to communicate about weight and pregnant women perceive healthcare professionals as unconcerned, leaving many women uninformed about weight recommendations and risks. We aimed to explore how midwives approach communication about gestational weight gain recommendations, and to characterize communication barriers and facilitators.

METHODS:

Seventeen midwives from different areas in Sweden were interviewed by a therapist using semi-structured interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed by three researchers using latent content analysis. Recurrent themes were identified and formulated.

RESULTS:

The main theme identified in the latent part of the analysis was "midwives use avoidant behaviours to cope with fear of inflicting worries, shame or feelings of guilt in pregnant women". Avoidant behaviours include: adjusting weight recommendations, toning down risks and avoid talking about weight. Subthemes identified were (I) Conflicting responsibilities in midwives' professional identity (II) Perceived deficiencies in the working situation.

CONCLUSION:

Midwives' empathy and awareness of weight stigma strongly affects communication about weight with pregnant women, and midwives' use of avoidant behaviours constitutes salient information barriers. More research is needed on whether gestational weightguidelines and weighing routines for all women, resources for extra visits, training in specific communication skills and backup access to other professions can facilitate for midwives to initiate and communicate about healthy gestational weight development, enabling more pregnant women to make well-informed lifestyle choices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 63, p. 1-7
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5282DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2018.04.020ISI: 000436780500002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5282DiVA, id: diva2:1212923
Available from: 2018-06-04 Created: 2018-06-04 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved

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The full text will be freely available from 2019-04-26 12:00
Available from 2019-04-26 12:00

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Hemmingsson, Erik

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Department of Sport and Health Sciences
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