New mums asked to weigh in for re­search

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

New re­search is fo­cus­ing on the ex­pe­ri­ences of fer­til­ity and ma­ter­nity care pro­vided to Auck­land mums-to-be who have a high BMI (body mass in­dex).

Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land doc­toral re­searcher Christy Parker is car­ry­ing out the study in re­sponse to a grow­ing fo­cus on women’s weight in Auck­land’s fer­til­ity and ma­ter­nity ser­vices.

This is see­ing some women with a high BMI re­quired to lose weight be­fore they can ac­cess pub­licly funded fer­til­ity treat­ment.

There are also BMI cut-offs for ac­cess to some of the re­gion’s birthing units, and the im­pend­ing in­tro­duc­tion of weight mon­i­tor­ing and healthy life­styles pro­grammes in ma­ter­nity care.

Ms Parker is a reg­is­tered mid­wife and a mum-to-be and is in­ter­ested in how this in­creased fo­cus on weight is­sues is af­fect­ing Auck­land women who are try­ing to con­ceive, mums-to-be, or new mums.

‘‘Re­search shows that the voices of women them­selves are some­times left out of ef­forts to im­prove ma­ter­nal and child health,’’ Ms Parker says.

‘‘The goal of this re­search is there­fore to en­sure larger women’s voices are part of changes to care that af­fect them and that they en­joy a high stan­dard of fer­til­ity and ma­ter­nity care.’’

Ms Parker would like to hear from women who are try­ing to be­come preg­nant, are preg­nant now, or have had a baby in the past few years to dis­cuss their ex­pe­ri­ences of Auck­land’s fer­til­ity or ma­ter­nity ser­vices in re­la­tion to their weight.

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