Systems Thinking: A Path to Reduce Maternal Pre-Pregnancy Obesity




Nasiha Pattamaniar Sultan Maliq, Nihmath


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Background Maternal pre-pregnancy obesity rates have been steadily increasing in the U.S. One in two women are obese before entering pregnancy. This issue is of importance because of its linkage with adverse health outcomes for mother and fetus. The impact of pregnancy complications on quality of life of mothers and children on a life course perspective emphasizes the need to discover organizations that help in reducing this problem. Objective To apply a systems approach to identify ten organizations that provide pre-pregnancy healthcare services, to study their inter-dependency, and their unified function to address maternal pre-pregnancy obesity. Methods A web-based research was used to identify ten organizations that were mapped using the mindomo application based on national, state, and local level organizations. Search Words: Pre-pregnancy obesity, pre-conception services, obesity toolkit. Results Few of the identified organizations include The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program (WIC), and Acclaim Nurse-Midwives that are inter-related to one another. For example, ACOG's obesity toolkit helps healthcare providers to diagnose obesity and refer patients to WIC where they are provided nutrition care and further referred to Acclaim Nurse-Midwives for social support. Conclusion Delivery of pre-conception care is influenced by a great range of factors on a systemic level. There is a lack of resources that exclusively provide pre-conception care which emphasizes further research and policy changes that may ensure reduction in pregnancy complications due to pre-pregnancy obesity.