Maternal obesity and excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) is on the rise with a negative impact on pregnancy outcomes and significant demands on NHS resources. Research into managing GWG using accessible technology is limited. The MOMTech project was designed to develop a text messaging based complex intervention to support obese women (BMI≥30) to develop healthier lifestyles and limit GWG, and evaluate its feasibility. An interdisciplinary team of researchers in collaboration with Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (DBNHSTF) staff and maternity user representatives developed prototype resources including consultation templates, diaries, text messages and the platform to send the messages. In the feasibility study, participants received two daily text messages, supported by four appointments with a healthy lifestyle midwife, diet and activity goal setting, and self-monitoring diaries. The comparison group were obese mothers who declined to participate but consented for their routinely collected data to be used for comparison. Postnatal interviews and focus groups with participants and the comparison group explored the intervention’s acceptability and suggested improvements.
This small feasibility study on 14 women showed a reduction in mean GWG in the intervention group compared to the comparison group (6.65 kg versus 9.74 kg) and few (28% versus 50%) exceeded the Institute of Medicine’s upper limit of 9 kg GWG for obese women. Qualitative results also showed women’s satisfaction with such supporting services to enhance continuity of care and support between antenatal appointments. This suggested that MOMTech was feasible within clinical setting and acceptable to support women in limiting GWG. More information is here.