Research demonstrates that pregnancy is a window to later life health both for mothers and their offspring, with factors like pregnancy weight gain and health problems during pregnancy (e.g., gestational diabetes, hypertension) being associated with maternal midlife and offspring cardiometabolic health, as well as offspring mental health and development. Thus, addressing pregnancy health in populations that experience high rates of cardiometabolic diseases (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, obesity) is critical to promoting health equity in current and future generations. Factors such as diet during pregnancy are especially important, because they can be changed through innovations in behavioral interventions. Additionally, understanding how biological and contextual influences affect these modifiable behaviors is critical to the development, testing, and dissemination of interventions in community settings. This project is based on two related, ongoing investigations: (1) a trial of a digital dietary intervention in pregnant and postpartum women, and (2) epidemiological studies of childbearing women across the lifespan.
The goals of this project are:
1 – To determine the role of prenatal diet in pregnancy outcomes at birth for mothers and infants and up to 6-months postpartum for mothers.
2 – To determine whether a digital application can improve dietary intake during pregnancy and postpartum among women with prenatal overweight and obesity.
3 – To identify biological, behavioral, familial, and community factors associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, especially in populations that experience health disparities.