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Women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m² and their experience of maternity care : a meta ethnographic synthesis

Jones, Catriona; Jomeen, Julie


Catriona Jones

Julie Jomeen


Objective: This paper is a report of a systematic review and meta-ethnography of the experiences of women with body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m² and their experience of maternity care. Method: Systematic review methods identified 12 qualitative studies about women’s experiences of maternity care when their BMI ≥ 30 kg/m². Findings from the identified studies were synthesised into themes, using meta-ethnography. Synthesis and Findings: The meta-ethnography produced four key concepts; Initial encounters, Negotiating risk, Missing out and The positive intervention, which represent the experiences of maternity care for women with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m². Key Conclusion: Many women with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m² appear to be dissatisfied with the approaches taken to discuss weight status during maternity encounters. When weight is not addressed during these encounters women appear to be equally dissatisfied. The absence of open and honest discussions about weight, the feeling of being denied of a normal experience, and an over emphasis on the risks imposed upon pregnancy and childbirth by obesity, leave women feeling dissatisfied and disenfranchised. Sensitive care and practical advice about diet and exercise can help women move towards feeling more in control of their weight management.


Jones, C., & Jomeen, J. (2017). Women with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m² and their experience of maternity care : a meta ethnographic synthesis. Midwifery, 53, 87-95.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 15, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 17, 2017
Publication Date 2017-10
Deposit Date Aug 9, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jul 24, 2018
Journal Midwifery
Print ISSN 0266-6138
Electronic ISSN 1532-3099
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Pages 87-95
Keywords Obesity; Health; Maternity; Women; Health care professionals
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Midwifery,2017. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.


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