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What does Blooming Together involve?

Blooming Together is a new approach to pregnancy care for women who are plus-size. It is designed to support women to have the healthiest pregnancy and birth possible through making positive lifestyle changes, and managing their weight.

If your patient is eligible to attend the Blooming Together Program she will be provided with all of her antenatal care along with a program of group education and support. The group sessions will provide an opportunity to have an informal discussion around key interest topics in pregnancy and health with a small group of women who are plus-size and at a similar stage of pregnancy. The sessions will be facilitated by the same Midwife and Dietitian with a visiting Lactation Consultant and Physiotherapist there to provide expert advice at some sessions.

Whilst at the group session your patient will have her antenatal check-up with either the Midwife or GP/Obstetrician (from Fiona Stanley Hospital) in a private room. The group sessions and antenatal check-ups are provided at the same time so there is no requirement to attend any more appointments than usual antenatal care.

There are no additional costs associated with participating in the Blooming Together Program. All of the extra services provided as part of the program will be provided to you free of charge.

Click here to find out more about the Blooming Together program

Please note: Blooming Together is not a diet or exercise program, it is a comprehensive lifestyle program within a program of quality midwifery-led maternity care in consultation with a GP/Obstetrician. We will also not be running exercise classes during the program but we will give some practical advice to support a gradual increase in physical activity.

Why was Blooming Together developed?

We know that women who carry extra weight going into pregnancy are at an increased risk of complications that can affect pregnancy, labour and birth. These risks can be made worse by gaining too much weight during pregnancy and can cause poor outcomes for both the mum and her baby. Blooming Together provides support and advice to pregnant women to help them manage their weight as well as providing the best quality antenatal care.

Few interventions exist that specifically target plus-size pregnant women and provide them with the support they need to manage their gestational weight gain and reduce clinical risks.

Blooming Together was developed to ensure the highest quality antenatal care combined with a supportive program of group education designed to assist women who carry extra weight to achieve the healthiest pregnancy possible.

We know that group based care is not for every woman. We also know that women want to have choices in their pregnancy care. Blooming Together offers a choice to women who carry extra weight to receive their antenatal care in a group setting with the addition of practical education and advice aimed at the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours and managing gestational weight gain.

How was Blooming Together developed?

The Blooming Together Program was developed by researchers at Telethon Kids Institute and the Women and Newborn Health Service (King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women) with funding from WA Health. Access the final report here.

What can you do to help?

Telethon Kids Institute needs the assistance of GPs in the Fiona Stanley Hospital catchment area to help with recruiting eligible women for the Blooming Together Program.

During the recruitment period we need GPs to assist in:

  1. Identifying eligible women for the Blooming Together Program;
  2. Providing information on Blooming Together to eligible women in early pregnancy (<12 weeks gestation)
  3. Seeking women's consent to be contacted by a member of the Blooming Together Team to discuss the program further and find out whether it may be a good option for their antenatal care.

More details about recruitment can be found in this step by step guide to referring into to the Blooming Together Program.

What are the participant inclusion and exclusion criteria?

Inclusion criteria
For this study we are looking for women who:

  • Are pregnant with their baby's estimated due date in March or April 2016 - preferably determined via a dating scan;
  • Have a BMI greater than 30kg/m2 (this can be calculated using the online BMI calculator);
  • Do not have a medical condition that may complicate their pregnancy;
  • Are over 18 years of age; and
  • Speak and understand conversational English.

Exclusion criteria
The Blooming Together Program can provide care for low to medium risk pregnancies. Unfortunately, if your patient has a history of any conditions that could complicate her pregnancy she will be ineligible for the Blooming Together Study.

For a list of conditions that will exclude your patients from this study please click here.

If you're unsure whether your patient is eligible to enrol in Blooming Together please contact Veronica or Jo, the Blooming Together midwives, on 0413 402 601.

When does Blooming Together start and where?

Key Dates
Babies Due Date (month) Enrolment Period Date of First Session
March or April 2016 6 August 2015 - 10 September 2015 24 September 2015

All of the sessions will be run out of Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch.

Each group is scheduled to run on a Saturday morning because women reported this timing to be most convenient for them given other commitments such as work and/or child care.

How do I get more information or register my interest to refer patients?

If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact Veronica or Jo, the Blooming Together midwives, on 0413 402 601.

For any questions about Blooming Together, please contact our midwives Veronica and Jo on 0413 402 601.