First Advisor

Cullen, Patricia L.


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

107 pages


Executive Summary

Prenatal Nutrition Counseling Designed to Reduce the Intake of Moderate and High Glycemic Index Foods Among Selected Normal, Overweight, and Obese Patients from a Nonprofit Faith-based Patient Medical Care Home


Minority and economically disadvantaged clients at a faith based nonprofit patient medical care home were identified as needing dietary counseling in the first trimester of pregnancy. There has existed a preponderance of evidence linking excessive weight gain in pregnancy to multiple complications for mother and child with a suggested relationship specific to the inflammatory processed initiated within the human body related to the ingestion of excessive calories and foods with a glycemic index (GI) greater than 50 (Jenkins & Willett, 2013; Marsh & Brand-Miller, 2008; Moses, Luebake, Coleman, Tapsell, and Petocz, 2006). Minority populations have been disproportionately affected by excessive weight gain during pregnancy. A need for multifaceted research and for the development of policies and interventions to address maternal weight gain that considered social, economic, political, and ethical issues was identified (Fleishman, 2012; Gennaro, 2005; Gordon-Larsen, Nelson, Page, Popkin, 2006). Women wanted to learn how to have healthy pregnancies. Nutritional education during pregnancy could serve as an impetus for changing behaviors (Healthy People 2020, 2013).


The purposes of this project were to examine the problem of excessive weight gain during pregnancy and provide an intervention appropriate for the selected patient population.


Overall goals were to improve the prenatal health of a selected sample of pregnant women by evaluating their current eating habits and fostering change in those eating habits where indicated and practical to reduce weight gain during pregnancy.


Assess the 24 hour dietary intake of selected clients, identify foods with a glycemic index greater than 50, review suggested changes with clients, and reevaluate BMI and weight gain 4 to 8 weeks after the initial intervention.

Outcome and Results

Participants who completed the intervention experienced no statistically significant change in weight or BMI. Mean weight gain was 0.38 pounds. The control group’s mean weight gain was 0.89 pounds. Statistical findings failed to reject the null hypothesis.

Recommendations for further study

A study of greater duration and larger sample size may capture additional data regarding the usefulness of the GI tool in weight management for pregnant and non-pregnant clients.

Date of Award

Summer 2015

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

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