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  8. Maternal Obesity Management using Mobile Technology (MOMTech): a preliminary study on obesity related behaviour change during pregnancy

Maternal Obesity Management using Mobile Technology (MOMTech): a preliminary study on obesity related behaviour change during pregnancy

Obesity is a growing problem, affecting one in five pregnant women. It is associated with an increased risk of death or serious complications for mothers and babies and an increased chance of further development of obesity in mothers and their children. Evidence on effective strategies for managing maternal obesity is limited.

Studies have used text messages to promote diet and physical activity changes in the general population, to support smokers quitting, and for monitoring long term conditions such as diabetes. However, text messages have not been used before in studies with obese pregnant women. With service users, we have already developed a series of 96 text messages, diaries and a platform to deliver text messages.

To test the practicality of developing a larger study, 15 obese pregnant women will be recruited at the booking visit (12 weeks). A specialist midwife will discuss healthy eating and physical activity and set goals with the women during two initial consultations (16 and 18 weeks). Women will monitor their progress using a Diet and Activity Record, and receive preselected text messages up to 36 weeks of pregnancy. The midwife will call the women monthly to change any messages if required, or to set a new goal. All participants will be asked to take part in a focus group to discuss which components of the project were useful and what needs to be changed. Midwife opinions regarding using the text message service will be gathered along with data on recruitment, compliance, retention and the practicality of delivering a larger study.

Outputs from the MOMTech project so far including this Bupa feasibility trial and previous development work


Furness, P.J., McSeveny, K., Arden, M.A., Garland, C., Dearden, A. and Soltani, H. (2011).  Maternal obesity support services: a qualitative study of the perspectives of women and midwives

Soltani, H., Furness, P.J., Arden, M.A., McSeveny, K., Garland, C., Sustar, H., and Dearden, A.M. (2012). Women's and Midwives' Perspectives on the Design of a Text Messaging Support for Maternal Obesity Services: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Obesity Volume 2012, Article ID 835464, 10 pages

Dearden, A.M., Arden, M.A., Fisher, M., Furness, P.J., Garland, C., McSeveny, K., Sustar, H., Soltani, H. (2012). Midwives, Obesity and Mobile Technology (MOMTech): a User Centred Healthcare Design. In Fourth International Conference on Human Computer Interaction. India.

Posters and oral presentations

Furness, P.J., McSeveny, K., Arden, M.A., Garland, C., Dearden, A.M. and Soltani, H. (2012). Maternal obesity support: Perspectives of women and midwives. In British Psychological Society, Division of Health Psychology Conference. Liverpool.

Soltani, H., Scott, A.M.S., Arden, M.A., Dearden, A.M., Furness, P.J., Garland, C., McSeveny, K. Fisher, M. European Congress for Obesity conference poster (12-15 May 2013) Abstract T2P035 Development of a complex intervention in managing "Maternal Obesity" using "Mobile Technology"(MOMTech) Obes facts2013;(suppl 1):1-246 page 154 Internal staff methodology seminar on MOMTech 12/10/2012

Download the project report(s)

Research Profile - Midwifery
Women's and midwives' perspectives on the design of a text messaging support for maternal obesity services

Project team

Alexandra Duxbury - Researcher, Registered Nutritionist (Public Health), MMedSci Human Nutrition, BSc Hons Psychology
Dr Maddy Arden - C.Psychol, PhD, BSc (Hons), PgC Psychology Research Group staff
Dr Penny J Furness - PhD Psychology, BA (Honours) Health and Community Studies, RN (Adult), Postgraduate Diploma Health Care Education
Professor Hora Soltani - Professor of Maternal and Infant Health PhD, MMedSci, BSc, RM, PG Dip in Health Education, PG Cert in Health Service Research


Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South Yorkshire

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