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The Mater Personalised Pregnancy Weight Tracker ©: an evidence-based resource that takes the guesswork out of healthy pregnancy weight gain.

What is the Mater Personalised Pregnancy Weight Tracker?

The Mater Personalised Pregnancy Weight Tracker is an evidence-based resource developed to support healthy lifestyles during pregnancy through an increase in self-efficacy by self-awareness, goal setting, and self-monitoring. The Pregnancy Weight Tracker, in conjunction with calculation of pre-pregnancy BMI and provision of Institute of Medicine (U.S.) pregnancy weight gain guidelines1, provides women with the best chance of healthy weight gain during pregnancy. The Pregnancy Weight Tracker is designed to be delivered according to the 5As2. (See weight tracker ‘how to use’ guide for further information about the 5As.)

Simply put, this easy-to-use tool takes the guess-work out of weight gain during pregnancy by allowing women to track their weight gain each week against international and Australian guidelines1,3. Knowing how much weight to gain, having this tailored to each woman, AND getting continual feedback about how she is progressing, helps her and her health care professionals care for her during pregnancy.

Why track weight gain?

Monitoring weight gain during pregnancy is important for the health of the mother and the baby. Women who gain weight above recommendations are more likely to have longer hospital stays, caesarean sections, high blood pressure and diabetes in pregnancy. They are also more likely to have trouble losing this weight after their baby is born and have difficulty breastfeeding. Women who do not gain enough weight are more likely to deliver their baby early.

How do I use a Mater Personalised Pregnancy Weight Tracker?

Calculating a woman’s pre-pregnancy BMI will inform the amount of weight for her to gain (within a range) from week to week over pregnancy, as well as the overall goal range. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, this approach tailors a weight gain goal to each woman. The instructions on the back of the Pregnancy Weight Tracker show how to start using the tracker. It is just like the back of a stocking packet - the idea is to stay in the shaded area that’s right for a specific pre-pregnancy BMI range!

For whom is the Mater Personalised Pregnancy Weight Tracker designed?

The weight tracker is suitable for use with all Caucasian women who are carrying a singleton (one) baby. A Pregnancy Weight Tracker for women with multiple babies or those of Asian ethnicity require a modified tracker – this is currently under development.

How can I get a Personalised Pregnancy Weight Tracker?

FOR WOMEN

  • If you are attending the Mater Mothers’ Hospital for publicly-funded antenatal care you will get a nutrition booklet at your first visit with a midwife that contains a fold-out Pregnancy Weight Tracker. Complete this and bring it to each visit to discuss with all your health care providers. You will get this if you attend at antenatal clinic, midwifery group practice or GP shared care.
  • Women birthing at the Mater Mothers’ Hospitals (publicly or privately funded) can also print off their own Pregnancy Weight Tracker from the Mater Patient Portal. You will need to apply for individual access to the portal before you can print off the Tracker.
  • All other women, whether or not they are birthing at the Mater Mothers’ Hospitals, are invited to attend Optimal Pregnancy Nutrition Workshops where you will receive a ‘Healthy Eating in Pregnancy’ booklet that contains the Pregnancy Weight Tracker. Alternatively, women may attend an individual appointment with a Mater Health & Wellness Dietitian where you will also receive this booklet as part of your consultation. If you do not live in Brisbane, please tell your maternity provider about this website.

FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

The Mater Nutrition & Dietetics Department has printed colour tear-off pads (20 per pad) for hospitals, VMOs and GPs to purchase.

  • Mater Mothers’ Hospitals aligned GPs will receive these pads during their alignment session with the Mater Mothers’ Hospital.
  • Private Obstetricians caring for women who will deliver at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital can contact the Mater Nutrition & Dietetics Department for Pregnancy Weight Trackers to use in their rooms.
  • Both VMOs and GPs aligned with MMH can also access an online, printable version through the Doctor Portal.
  • External hospitals and non-Mater aligned GPs or Obstetricians can purchase the Pregnancy Weight Tracker by completing and returning the ORDER FORM (Please note: purchase costs cover our printing and postage/handling costs only).

Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. No commercial reproduction, adaptation, distribution or transmission of the Personalised Pregnancy Weight Tracker please without the prior written permission of Nutrition & Dietetics Department, Mater Health Services, South Brisbane.

References

1. Institute of Medicine. Weight gain during pregnancy: Reexamining the guidelines. 2009, Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.
2. Glasgow RE, Emont S, & Miller DC. Assessing delivery of the '5As' for patient-centered counseling. Health Promotion International, 2006; 21(3), 245255.
3. NHMRC. Eat for Health. 2013, Canberra, Australia: Department of Health and Ageing.

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