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Pregnant women needed for survey


Brigid Veale
26 March 2007
Encouraging women to keep physically active during pregnancy is one of the aims of a research project under way by Southern Cross University researcher Frances Doran.

Ms Doran, who lectures in the Department of Nursing and Health Care Practices, is calling on pregnant women and women who have had gestational diabetes in the last 18 months to take part in a survey on physical activity. The participants can be located anywhere.

“This is really an area that hasn’t been explored and we need a better understanding of women’s activity during pregnancy and how we can better support women to maintain healthy levels of activity,” Ms Doran said.

“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.

“I want to see what women are doing already, or what they are not doing. For many women, pregnancy is seen as a time to rest, but it is really important to keep physically active.

“We know lack of physical activity and being overweight are the risk factors for developing diabetes.”

Between five and nine per cent of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes, which usually goes away once the baby is born. However, these women have a 50 per cent chance of developing diabetes later on.

Ms Doran said she was calling on women who were pregnant to complete a survey and seven-day exercise diary.

“The survey is about physical activity during pregnancy and I do a follow-up six months after the baby is born. The participants, who can be at any stage of pregnancy, do not have to be physically active at all and are only required to do the seven-day diary once,” she said.

“The other group I’m looking at is women who currently have or may have had gestational diabetes in the last 18 months.”

Participants in the survey can be in any location as the surveys can be sent by mail. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Frances Doran on 66203888 or email [email protected]

Photo: Frances Doran is seeking pregnant women to complete a survey on phsyical activity.