Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communication and Arts/Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
Perinatal maternal obesity is common and has significant child and maternal health consequences. Online resources have the potential to engage young mothers to adopt healthier lifestyles during pregnancy and postpartum. Intercept interviews with 53 pregnant women at antenatal clinics and focus groups with 67 new mothers at mothers’ groups and playgroups were conducted to determine preferred types and formats of online information and support. The expressed needs of women were matched to behaviour change theory to guide development of the Healthy You Healthy Baby website and Smartphone application. A mix of factual and practical online information, self-assessment, goal-setting and feedback in an interactive format is recommended to motivate and support women to achieve healthy lifestyles in the perinatal period. Referral to online resources by health professionals and quality assurance of content is important to increase the confidence of women to act on it.