Smarter Pregnant: online coaching when you are pregnant

Healthy living. This is especially important if you are pregnant or want to become pregnant. However, suppose your lifestyle and nutritional habits are not up to par. Then it is quite difficult to change that. With that in mind, a coaching program has now been developed by Erasmus MC: Slimmer Zwanger. It is also free through a number of health insurers. For whom, how and what? Read more… Coaches are hip and hot, so it should come as no surprise that there is now a real pregnancy coach! Online, then. And it was created by the Erasmus MC. This is a personal coaching program called ‘Slimmer Zwanger’. There is a website that is accessible via mobile phone, supplemented with advice by text message and email. The program helps participants gain knowledge about healthy diet and lifestyle habits. This is useful if you are pregnant, but also if you want to become pregnant! Healthy habits reduce the risk of infertility – whether you are a woman or a man – and good living and eating habits demonstrably reduce the risks of complications during your pregnancy and around the time of delivery.

Unhealthy life = unhealthy pregnancy

Let’s turn things around for a moment. Just as healthy habits support you before and during pregnancy, unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits mean risks. You have a lower chance of becoming pregnant, and a higher chance of congenital disorders in the child. It also appears that people who have an unhealthy lifestyle are more likely to experience problems surrounding childbirth. But what do you do about unhealthy lifestyle habits? They are difficult to change. Enter the coach. Just as a sports coach, a budget coach or a lifestyle coach helps you with better habits, the Slimmer Zwanger coaching program is there to give you support.

Multifunctional

The online self-test at www.slimmerzwanger.nl is multifunctional. This test can also be used by midwives, gynecologists, general practitioners and other healthcare providers. Through the test, they can quickly and easily identify the necessary areas for improvement in nutrition and lifestyle for their clients.

 

“It’s really going to help!”

Prof.dr. RĂ©gine Steegers-Theunissen, physician-epidemiologist at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Erasmus MC, devised the program. Steegers: We expect that a personal coaching program will really help participants with something as difficult as changing unhealthy nutritional and lifestyle habits. Smarter Pregnant does not replace personal consultations with doctors or midwives. We think it can be a valuable addition for people who may not live a healthy lifestyle, but still want to do something about it.

What can you do with it?

What can you do with Smarter Pregnancy? Firstly, you can screen yourself for your lifestyle and lifestyle via the website on your mobile phone or computer. Factors such as age, body mass index (BMI, an index to see whether you are too heavy or too light) and various nutritional and lifestyle risk factors are mapped out. What are the risk factors for you personally? Your individual coaching program is determined from the outcome. This will then periodically send messages (tips, facts, recipes) via your mobile phone, by means of SMS and e-mail. Steegers: After the first screening, four more screenings will take place every six weeks. The coaching program adapts depending on whether someone is already pregnant so that the coaching remains truly tailor-made.

F/M and free for insured persons

Slimmer Zwanger is not only for women, but also for men who want to have children together with their partner. Anyone who is insured through Achmea, including Zilveren Kruis Achmea, Agis Zorgverzekeringen, Avero Achmea, Interpolis and FBTO, can use the program free of charge. These health insurers reimburse the costs for their clients. Other people can join in too, but not entirely for free.

Erasmus MC

Erasmus MC is part of the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers (NFU). The NFU is a partnership of the eight university medical centers (UMCs) in the Netherlands and its general objective is to promote the joint interests of the UMCs. Other UMCs that are part of the NFU are the AMC, azM, LUMC, UMCG, UMC St Radboud, UMC Utrecht and VUmc. A total of 60,000 employees are associated with the eight UMCs.

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