Women's experiences of physical activity during pregnancy

PhD Thesis

Walker, C. 2015. Women's experiences of physical activity during pregnancy. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsWalker, C.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Physical activity (PA) during pregnancy is safe for both mother and fetus in the majority of cases, including for women who have undergone in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment; however, this population is likely to face unique barriers to PA. Currently, there is a paucity of research exploring the qualitative experiences and decision-making processes surrounding PA for women who have undergone IVF treatment. Eight women, who had undergone successful IVF treatment and given birth within the last two years, participated in semi-structured interviews about their experiences of PA during pregnancy. Interview transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Three super-ordinate themes emerged from the data: ‘experiences of loss and opportunities for hope’, ‘navigating risks and obstacles’, and ‘PA can be a valuable part of pregnancy’. Women’s experiences of PA during pregnancy varied. For some, it was a way to keep hold of their active pre-pregnancy selves, for others PA was experienced as a risk to pregnancy, thus influencing the decision-making process. Limitations of the study are considered, as well as implications for clinical practice and directions for future.

KeywordsPregnancy, experiences, physical activity, in vitro fertilisation, qualitative
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Publication process dates
Deposited27 Oct 2015
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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