Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Rebecca Heimburger, DNP, MSN, APRN, WHNP

Rebecca Heimburger
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Melissa Davis, DNP, CNM, FNP


DNP Project Abstract

Impact of Comprehensive Nutrition Counseling Among Overweight and Obese Obstetric Patients

Gestational weight gain is a critical component of maternal and fetal health during pregnancy. Excessive weight gain can increase risks during pregnancy such as pregnancy induced hypertension, labor and delivery complications, and postpartum weight retention. There is a lack of knowledge among obstetric patients regarding this topic. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to assess and increase nutrition and exercise knowledge among overweight and obese obstetric patients at their initial OB appointment.

Fourteen participants were identified based on a chart review. All 14 participants received an 8-question test prior to and after receiving comprehensive nutrition and exercise counseling. Question topics included weight gain recommendations, appropriate exercise during pregnancy, and nutrition modifications during pregnancy.

Following the invervention, a paired t-test was performed. The mean score on the pre- and post- test increased from 2.64 (33%) to 6.71 (84%).  The mean difference of 4.07 is statistically significant (p<.0001).

Implications for Practice
Comprehensive nutrition and exercise counseling had a significant impact on participants knowledge. This project demonstrates the need for continued comprehensive counseling among overweight and obstetric patients. Future projects could include continued data collection throughout the participants pregnancy to evaluate total gestational weight gain.