Frances Doran, a lecturer in the Department of Nursing and Health Care Practices, is undertaking a research project to identify the barriers that prevent women from keeping physically active during pregnancy.
“There is not much information available to women about physical activity during pregnancy and after the birth. The recommendations are pretty broad and many women don’t really know what they should be doing,” Ms Doran said.
“A lot of women think that physical activity means going to the gym, but what I’m looking at is all the physical activity that women are involved in, including daily activities such as running after children and general household jobs.”
Ms Doran said it was important to have a clear picture of women’s activity and how they could be better supported to maintain healthy levels of activity.
She is seeking pregnant women to complete a survey and keep a seven-day diary of their physical activity.
Another focus of the research is gestational diabetes. This affects between five and nine per cent of pregnant women during their pregnancy and usually goes away once the baby is born.
Anyone who has gestational diabetes in their current pregnancy or who have developed it in the last 12 months is also being encouraged to complete the survey.
“Many of the women who have already taken part found it quite useful to keep a diary. The participants, who can be at any stage of pregnancy, do not have to be doing any organised physical activity or sport and are only required to do the seven-day diary once,” she said.
Anyone interested in taking part should contact Frances Doran on 66203888 or 0403 422 476 or email email@example.com. Frances will then post the survey with a pre-paid addressed envelope for return of the survey.
Photo: Frances Doran.
Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.