Linköping University researchers in Sweden have launched an app for women to acquire a healthy weight gain and lifestyle during pregnancy.
The results and evaluations of the app have been made public in 2 scientific articles. According to them, the app provided a guide for a better diet. Overweight or obese pregnant women who used the app also resulted in less weight during their pregnancies.
”Pregnancy is a phase in life when many people try to do what is best for themselves and their baby. We think it’s important to be able to offer a tool that has a sound base in research. Our vision is that the app will help both those working in maternity care and pregnant women, by providing support for a healthy lifestyle.” said Marie Löf, the leader of the research and a professor at the Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences at Linköping University.
Additionally, according to the researchers, the goal of the app is to help and support women in acquiring a healthy lifestyle during their pregnancies. It also comes with a guide on exercises in order to keep track of the physical activity, diet habits, recipes and information. The entire app has been carefully developed by a team of dieticians, nutritionists, physicians, behavioral scientists, physiotherapists and systems developers.
In order for the effectiveness of the app to be evaluated, researchers have made a study where more than 300 pregnant women took part. Half of them had standard care within the system of maternity care, whereas the other half could gain access to the app.
”The diet in the group that used the HealthyMoms app was slightly better towards the end of the pregnancy than that of the control group. Another result is that the women with overweight or obesity before pregnancy in the intervention group gained on average 1.7 kg less than those in the control group. We regard it as very positive that our app can lead to an effect similar to that seen in studies evaluation interventions that require more personnel and resources.” stated Löf.
19 women who had access to the app were interviewed by the researchers, where they stated that the app had a decent combination of useful tools, and they also expressed how they trusted the app and its source.
The HealthyMoms app is estimated to be expanded more to a bigger group by the researchers with more languages than just Swedish.