A Smartphone App to Promote Healthy Weight Gain, Diet, and Physical Activity During Pregnancy (HealthyMoms): Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

JMIR Res Protoc. 2019 Mar 1;8(3):e13011. doi: 10.2196/13011.


Background: Excessive gestational weight gain is common and associated with adverse outcomes both in the short and long term. Although traditional lifestyle-based interventions have shown to mitigate excess gestational weight gain, little is known about whether mobile Health (mHealth) apps can promote healthy weight gain, diet, and physical activity during pregnancy.

Objective: The primary aim of the HealthyMoms trial is to determine the effectiveness of a smartphone app (HealthyMoms) for mitigating excess gestational weight gain during pregnancy. Secondary aims are to determine the effectiveness of the app on dietary habits, physical activity, body fatness, and glycemia during pregnancy.

Methods: HealthyMoms is a two-arm randomized controlled trial. Women are being recruited at routine visits at the maternity clinics in Linköping, Norrköping and Motala, Sweden. Women are randomized to the control or intervention group (n=150 per group). All women will receive standard care, and women in the intervention group will also receive the HealthyMoms smartphone app.

Results: Recruitment of participants to the trial was initiated in October 2017, and 190 women have so far completed the baseline measurement. The baseline measures are estimated to be finalized in December 2019, and the follow-up measures are estimated to be completed in June 2020.

Conclusions: This project will evaluate a novel smartphone app intervention integrated with existing maternity health care. If successful, it has great potential to be implemented nationally in order to promote healthy weight gain and health behaviors during pregnancy.

International registered report identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/13011.

Keywords: diet; exercise; gestational weight gain; mobile phone; pregnancy; smartphone; telemedicine.