Gestational weight gain influences, beliefs, and goals among Marshallese pregnant women in Arkansas: a mixed-methods analysis

Am J Transl Res. 2021 Dec 15;13(12):13993-14004. eCollection 2021.


Despite the high rate of maternal and child health disparities among the Marshallese, there are no studies documenting gestational weight gain influences, beliefs, and goals among the Marshallese. From March 2019 to March 2020, a purposive sample of 33 participants took part in the mixed methods study. Two themes emerged: (1) Gestational Weight Gain Influences and (2) Excessive Gestational Weight Gain Perceptions. In the first theme there were three subthemes: (a) Church and Familial Influence on Gestational Weight Gain; (b) Healthy Gestational Weight Gain; and (c) Lack of Healthcare Provider Influence on Gestational Weight Gain. In the second theme there were three subthemes: (a) Excessive Weight Gain and Pregnancy; (b) Excessive Gestational Weight Gain and Labor; and (c) Gestational Weight Gain Goals. This study will be used to culturally tailor interventions to help Marshallese women reduce maternal and infant health disparities in Marshallese communities.

Keywords: Marshallese; Pacific Islanders; community-based participatory research; gestational weight gain.