ENRICH is a group of investigators, students and staff that came together in 2013 under a research program funded for six years by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS).
In addition to our Alberta-based research team, we have an International Network of scientists and researchers, all of whom are interested in women's and children's health. We work together to learn about the latest and most important ways to improve women's health in pregnancy and postpartum. To learn more about our team, click here!
Why is our work important?
Maternal body weight during pregnancy is used as an indicator of health, both for the mother and for her developing fetus. The risks of poor maternal and fetal health outcomes increase when women gain either too little or too much weight during pregnancy. While gaining too little weight is associated with low birth weight and preterm birth, excessive weight gain in pregnancy contributes to increased rates of maternal and perinatal complications, illness, and sometimes even death.
Excess weight gain and poor diet quality in pregnancy, followed by less-than-recommended postpartum weight loss, makes pregnancy a major risk factor for obesity and chronic diseases (such as diabetes and certain cancers in women) later on in life. Strategies that promote appropriate, effective, and safe weight management for pregnant and postpartum women are clearly needed. Successful strategies must be suitable for diverse populations, as well as the physical and social environments that shape women's choices during pregnancy and postpartum.
The overall goal of ENRICH is to promote healthy pregnancies among women during pregnancy and postpartum. Our aim is to find unique, appropriate, and effective strategies that meet the needs of women and care providers across Alberta. We believe that these strategies must be suitable for diverse groups, and must take into account the physical and social environments that shape women's choices during pregnancy and postpartum.
- To understand perceptions and experiences of diverse groups of pregnant and postpartum women with respect to social, environmental and ecological means to support their healthy diets, appropriate body weight and health.
- To identify needs, gaps and opportunities in health service delivery systems that could be harnessed to promote optimal dietary intake and appropriate weight management strategies in pregnant and postpartum women.