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Talking health during pregnancy

Health promotion is a key component of midwives' and health visitors' roles as they are expected to offer support on a range of topics including exercise, smoking, diet, weight gain and domestic violence, in addition to providing routine care. To what extent health professionals are prepared to deal with their increasingly challenging task of health promotion, particularly on raising and discussing sensitive issues such as obesity and weight management, is not fully clear.

This study aimed to collect information regarding the gaps in midwives and health visitor's skills and knowledge, in order to develop a training package to address their training requirements.

The study consists of 4 stages

  • consultation with midwives, health visitors and other stakeholders (N=56)
  • focus groups with midwives, health visitors and maternity service users (N=29)
  • online survey of midwives about their training needs
  • development of a training package.

We have completed the first two stages and are currently developing the survey for stage 3.



Wardle C, Hampshaw SM, Furness PJ, Arden MA, Duxbury AMS, Soltani H ‘Talking Health During Pregnancy’ – opening the conversation on public health issues. International Confederation of Midwives 30th Triennial Congress, Prague 1-5th June 2014

Furness P, Soltani H, Arden MA, Scott AMS, Hampshaw S, Wardle C. Developing a supportive training package to promote effective communication of sensitive health issues with pregnant women: The Healthy Talk Project The British Psychological Society, Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference 11-13th September 2013

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