Title

Healthcare Providers’ Advice About Gestational Weight Gain, Diet, and Exercise: a Cross-Sectional Study with Brazilian Immigrant Women in the USA

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2020

Abstract

This study sought to quantify healthcare providers’ advice about gestational weight gain (GWG), diet, and exercise among first-time pregnant Brazilian women living in the USA. This is a cross-sectional study of first-time pregnant Brazilian women living in selected cities in Massachusetts. The study sample included 86 women, nearly all (97%; n = 83) immigrants. Participants’ mean age was 28.3 years and mean gestation was 27.5 weeks. Approximately 25.6% (n = 22) reported being overweight, and 1.2% (n = 1) being underweight. Only about 62% (n = 53) reported receiving advice from their healthcare provider on recommended GWG. In addition, about 83% (n = 71) and 81% (n = 70) reported receiving healthcare providers’ advice on exercise and diet, respectively. Women who self-reported being overweight pre-pregnancy (OR 0.15; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.03–0.73; p = 0.02) and women who were classified low acculturation levels (OR 0.12; 95% CI 0.02–0.08; p = 0.03) were less likely to report receiving healthcare providers’ advice on GWG compared to women who self-reported being normal weight pre-pregnancy and those classified having high acculturation level, respectively. Furthermore, women who self-reported being overweight pre-pregnancy were less likely to report receiving diet-related advice (OR 0.32; 95% CI 0.10–1.02; p = 0.05) than women who self-reported being normal weight pre-pregnancy. Findings indicate the need for increased communication and counseling between healthcare providers and Brazilian immigrant women about GWG, in particular for women with low acculturation levels and language barriers suggesting the need for linguistic and culturally relevant interventions designed to improve Brazilian immigrant women’s access to evidence-based information about GWG, diet, and exercise.

Publication Title

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

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