The Begin Better study

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Does your health before pregnancy matter? How does it affect your baby? 
The Begin Better Study is here to find out.

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Complete the eligibility questionnaire 

What is the study about?
The Begin Better study aims to better understand how optimising nutrition, physical activity and well-being (ie sleep, stress management) of women before pregnancy might improve their health and better prepare them for parenthood.

Why is this research important?
Previously, Professor Jodie Dodd and her group at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital conducted the largest study of lifestyle intervention during pregnancy. While this intervention during pregnancy resulted in improved maternal dietary and physical activity behaviours, there was no effect on pregnancy and birth outcomes.

It may be that the best way to improve outcomes for the pregnancy and the baby is to improve a woman’s physical and mental health before becoming pregnant by focusing on changing health behaviours related to physical activity and nutrition.

What would I need to do?
The Begin Better study is a randomised controlled trial (RCT); this means that participants enrolled in the study will be randomly allocated to either the Lifestyle Intervention Group or the Educational Control Group. All women will attend clinic appointments at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and receive health recommendations for planning for pregnancy including access to the study website. Those in the Lifestyle Intervention arm of the study will be offered counselling from a dietitian, access to our specifically designed web-app and health coaching for 6 months. All women enrolled in the study will be followed for a period of up to two years, and if pregnancy occurs in this time, information will be collected about the pregnancy and birth, and their infant until 18 months of age.

Who can take part?
We are seeking women aged 18 years or over, are considering a pregnancy in the next two years, but are not yet pregnant.

How do I get involved?
To find out whether you are eligible, take the survey following this link.
To register your interest, or for more information, contact the Begin Better Study team at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital
P: (08) 8161 8427