Academie Verloskunde Maastricht

Weight, weight gain and clinical decision-making in primary care.

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International research shows that obese women have higher risks of several perinatal complications. However, it is unclear what this means for the risk profile of overweight or obese pregnant women in primary care and how the risk selection and care can be optimized. The same applies to the effect of weight gain during pregnancy.

Start date: 2008
End date: 2016

To answer the research questions we conducted a research project among pregnant women in primary midwifery care. Three publications are based on secondary analyzes of a dataset from the Kempen Study, a prospective cohort study in a primary care population. One study is based on data obtained by the Midwifery Case Registration System. At least, we did a qualitative study among midwives in primary care. this study provided insights into the clinical decision of midwives in clients with obesity.


This research aims to make a scientific contribution to the knowledge about weight and weight gain in order to optimize the care of the individual woman in primary care. We wanted to get insight in the occurrence and variation of weight and weight gain in healthy pregnant women and in the results of standard care by midwives.


Obesity is a growing problem worldwide and in the Netherlands. International literature showed that obesity is related to poor perinatal outcomes. Results of international studies are not just applicable to the Dutch primary care system. In the Netherlands we are challenged to acquire insights into the prevention and consequences of obesity in Dutch primary care population in order to optimize risk selection and adopt policies.