Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 268
Objective: Effective strategies promoting appropriate body weights and healthy diets for pregnant and postpartum women are needed. Feasible, sustainable strategies should be informed by: knowledge of the determinants of healthy weights and nutrition in pregnancy and postpartum; greater insight into perceptions and experiences of diverse groups of women and health care providers (HCP); and knowledge of opportunities to integrate innovative approaches in healthcare and community-based organizations (CBO). The ENRICH research program used an inter-disciplinary, multi-sectoral, integrated knowledge translation (iKT) approach to promote maternal health in Alberta, Canada.
Methods: A combination of studies were completed: epidemiologic and clinical studies; mixed methods studies with women and HCP in partnership with health service providers; qualitative and quantitative studies with CBO staff and migrant/refugee women; and qualitative studies with Indigenous Elders, women, and fathers in partnership with their communities.
Results: Women's diets during pregnancy aligned poorly with Canada's Food Guide, ~50% of women exceeded gestational weight gain guidelines starting early in pregnancy, and HCP practices did not adequately support women in meeting dietary and weight gain goals. New and revised resources were developed for women as were novel training programs for HCP. Focus groups and surveys with women and interviews with CBO staff highlighted the complex pathways navigated by vulnerable women and the CBO in support of maternal health and food security. Strategies using food as a gateway to improve family food security allowed CBO staff to begin co-developing a micro-enterprise with women to build business-related skills and begin to improve their economic conditions. Guidance from Indigenous Elders and partnership with border town HCP extended antenatal care to include mentoring by Elders and learning activities for HCP that have increased cultural awareness and security.
Conclusion: An iKT approach focused research on advancing knowledge and implementing feasible, sustainable and novel strategies based on the needs of women and their communities. Evaluation is underway to determine impact on health in pregnancy and postpartum, as well as potential for spread and scale-up.
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada