Health behaviour and pregnancy: a time for change

Ellinor K. Olander, Debbie M. Smith, Zoe Darwin

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Pregnancy has repeatedly been described as a time when women may be particularly receptive to changing their health behaviour. However, rarely acknowledged is the volume of behavioural expectations placed on women before, during and after pregnancy, or the potential complexity of behaviour change. Healthcare guidelines tends to simplify health behaviour, with recommendations focusing on health education (sometimes referred to as lifestyle advice) that is characterised by messages that health professionals need to convey to women. Implicit assumptions underlying this approach include i) that pregnant women will be motivated by risk-related information to change their health behaviour and that this motivation is enough for health behaviour change, ii) that multiple health behaviours can be addressed simultaneously, iii) that changes will lead to improved outcomes, despite little being known about the timing of influence and relative importance of behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


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