Change of lifestyle habits – Motivation and ability reported by pregnant women in northern Sweden Academic Article uri icon


  • Pregnant women are generally more motivated to change their lifestyle habits compared with non-pregnant women. However, the ability to change these habits depends on the motivation to change. This study describes pregnant women's self-reported motivation and ability to change lifestyle habits and their relation to body mass index (BMI), self-rated health, educational level and country of origin.This cross-sectional study combined data from the Maternal Health Care Register in Västerbotten (MHCR-VB) and the Salut Programme Register (Salut-R). Data were collected from 3,868 pregnant residents in Västerbotten County (northern Sweden) between 2011 and 2012. Chi-square test, two independent samples t-test and univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed.Most of the pregnant women (61.3%) were satisfied with their self-reported lifestyle habits irrespective of BMI, self-rated health, educational level, and country of origin. Many reported that they wanted to increase their physical activity, improve their dietary habits, and reduce their weight. In general, they estimated their ability to change their lifestyle habits as equal to their motivation of change. Women who reported a large or very large motivation to change their lifestyle habits were characterized by higher BMI and higher educational level.Most of the participating pregnant women were satisfied with their lifestyle habits, although they reported being further motivated to change some of them. Health care professionals encountering fertile and pregnant women may have a unique opportunity to support and promote lifestyle changes, taking into account women's motivation for change. Future research should focus on factors that motivate pregnant women to change their lifestyle, explore barriers for change of lifestyle and how support best may be provided to pregnant women. In addition, studies on lifestyle and motivation for lifestyle change from non-Nordic countries are called for.


  • Lindqvist, Maria
  • Lindkvist, Marie
  • Eurenius, Eva
  • Persson, Margareta
  • Mogren, Ingrid

publication date

  • 2017