Article Title



Prenatal healthcare providers (HCP) are in an influential position to advocate for leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) among pregnant women. Previous research suggests when such discussions occur, they may lack accurate or complete information and may be perceived negatively by pregnant women. PURPOSE: To 1) assess pregnant women’s perceptions of physical activity discussion with their prenatal HCPs and 2) determine the relationship between these discussions and meeting current LTPA guidelines included in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. METHODS: A survey (paper or online) was completed by 302 pregnant women. Participants answered questions regarding physical activity discussions with prenatal HCPs and their pregnancy LTPA behavior. Moderate LTPA was dichotomized as meeting guidelines [moderate LTPA ≥150 min/week] or not. Vigorous LTPA was dichotomized as performing any [vigorous LTPA >0 min/week) or not. Relative frequencies were calculated for all categorical responses. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine relationships among physical activity guideline discussions, meeting moderate LTPA guidelines, and participating in any vigorous LTPA. These analyses adjusted for prepregnancy LTPA and LTPA efficacy beliefs. RESULTS: Nearly two-thirds of participants (n=199) reported having discussed physical activity with their prenatal HCP. However, current physical activity guidelines for pregnant women were addressed in less than half of those discussions (n=96). Pregnant women who discussed the current guidelines with prenatal HCPs had increased odds of participating in any vigorous LTPA (aOR=2.48, 95% CI: 1.28-4.81), but not for meeting the moderate LTPA guidelines (aOR=0.83, 95% CI: 0.45-1.55). Of those who did not report having physical activity discussions, 44.9% (n=48) reported the desire to discuss physical activity with their HCPs. Nearly 60% of the total analytic sample (n=180) reported their prenatal HCP as the source from whom they would most like to receive physical activity information. CONCLUSION: Physical activity discussion between pregnant women and prenatal HCPs is related to vigorous LTPA participation. Prenatal HCPs are perceived by pregnant women to be an important and desirable source of physical activity information.

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