Academie Verloskunde Maastricht

Promoting Healthy Pregnancy

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Study on the development of health promotion competencies and interventions for primary care

This project is supported by a grant from SIA - RAAK PRO

April 1, 2011- April 1, 2015


Midwifery, Health promotion, maternal weight gain, maternal distress, multidisciplinary collaboration

Midwives perceive gaps in their expertise to complete and design  their roles as advisor and counsellor. Skills to guide healthy gestational weight gain and maternal stress are missing. Screening tools for early detection and evidence-based educational programs to tackle these themes often are unavailbale for midwifery care. Moreover, it is clear that adequate cooperation and coordination with specific primary care experts deserves further attention.

To acquire optimal pregnancy and childbirth outcomes, a broadening of midwife competencies is required. Furthermore,  evidence-based screening tools and health promotion programs in midwifery are necessary, and expertise of several primary care partners should be brought together in partnerships. In two seperate PhD-projects lasting four years, two midwifery researchers are working on achieving these goals through literature study and qualitative and quantitative research.


The aim of the program is to equip primary care midwives with health-promoting and intervention skills for healthy weight gain and maternal stress by developing a robust cooperation structure, and by integrating evidence-based protocols and best practice in midwifery education.

Question / Hypothesis

What health-promoting capabilities, what skills and interventions about healthy gestational weight gain and maternal stress do primary care midwives have? Which are missing? How do we ensure that midwives are equipped with the best and most relevant and essential health-promoting skills and interventions?


The research the Promoting Healthy Pregnancy project is closely related to the advice of the Scientific Committee on Obstetrics released in February 2010. They recommend a research agenda to improve the quality of primary midwifery care, with a high priority placed on research into health promotion interventions. Explicit attention is drawn to “... research on the development of interventions aimed at preventing and combating obesity during and around pregnancy” and “... research on the identification of mental health problems and promoting the mental health of pregnant women.” The importance of “... improving collaboration between midwives and other health care ...” is stated as an important research topic.