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Less than half of women enter pregnancy with a weight within a health range making it the most common obstetric risk factor. Women living with overweight and obesity during pregnancy as well as women who put on too much weight during pregnancy are at increased risk of poor pregnancy, birth and neonatal outcomes. The risk is further pronounced in women entering pregnancy with existing chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension who are additionally living with a lifelong risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Part of our Helping Patients Manage their Own Conditions  research theme



  • To collate the evidence of antenatal lifestyle interventions in women at high risk of cardiovascular disease and evaluate the effect of these interventions on gestational weight and blood pressure.
  • To identify the type, frequency and combination of behaviour change techniques used within antenatal lifestyle interventions.
  • To develop a national overview of weight management during pregnancy guidelines across NHS Trusts in England.
  • To identify discrepancies and agreement between recommendations of clinical care for weight management during pregnancy and consider the underlying evidence base for these recommendations.



  • Understanding the effect of antenatal lifestyle interventions in women experiencing high risk pregnancies and the identification of behaviour change techniques will support the development of interventions to support better care.
  • A better understanding of weight management care guidelines in England. This will provide an overview of current practice and identify where there are inconsistencies or a lack of evidence supporting the recommendations. Understanding current practice will support the implementation of new interventions that can be effectively embedded within existing care pathways.


Expected Impact

  • Women experiencing a high risk pregnancy are the centre of this work. This research project hopes to further the existing evidence base relating to lifestyle interventions in pregnancy that can lead to enhanced antenatal care and ultimately improve maternal and neonatal outcomes for these women.

Related research themes