Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2016

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Instone

Second Advisor

Dr. Sue Hoyt



Over the past 30 years, excessive weight gain during pregnancy among American women has been a significant concern, resulting in serious health consequences to mothers and their newborns. During 2011, 48% of U.S. women gained more than the ideal amount of weight during pregnancy. Several international studies have also documented that excessive weight gain during pregnancy is associated with adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. As a result, one in ten babies were born prematurely in the United States in 2014. Based on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) guidelines (2009), the purpose of this project was to implement the Healthy Women Healthy Children (HWHC) program at a southern California community clinic to reduce excessive prenatal weight gain.

Process: The HWHC curriculum was a 12-week weight management intervention. Participants attended weekly nutrition or exercise-focused classes and were weighed at every other encounter. The number of times they met the weekly IOM weight gain guidelines over the 12-week program was recorded.

Outcomes: Eleven participants were followed over a 12-week period. The frequency with which the participants met the IOM weekly weight gain guidelines averaged 68%; the range was 20%-100%; and the median rate was 67%.

Discussion: The Healthy Women Healthy Children curriculum assisted pregnant women to make lifestyle changes in order to prevent excessive gestational weight gain.

Conclusion: Advanced practice registered nurses can lead initiatives in the prevention of excessive gestational weight to make a positive impact on maternal and fetal outcomes.