Body Positive Birth Alliance
The Body Positive Birth Alliance brings together a collective of consumers, clinicians, researchers, advocates and professional groups with the joint aim of challenging weight-centric maternity care, and directly addressing both unconscious and conscious weight stigma and discrimination.
Weight stigma is common in maternity care. It is linked with poor pregnancy outcomes, including high blood pressure, mental illness, birth problems, lower breastfeeding rates, poorer long-term maternal and child health, and intergenerational stigma. This form of discrimination is also known to undermine weight management in pregnant women, which may explain why it is associated with gestational weight gain (GWG) and postpartum weight retention.
Research shows that approximately half of Australian women of reproductive age live in larger bodies, and half also experience unintended weight gain and retention around childbearing. This puts over 3.3 million women at risk of experiencing weight stigma during their preconception, pregnancy and postpartum life stages.
This alliance will drive a program of consumer-led research which aims to develop maternity care that is free of stigma, shame and discrimination based on body size. Importantly, the project is built on a foundation of consumer engagement. By combining the lived experience of larger bodied women with the voices of leading experts we can challenge weight-centric care and work towards weight inclusive care.
The Alliance will work to address national policies, research priorities and gaps between research and practice, in order to improve experiences of maternity care and health outcomes for larger bodied women and their children.
For more information please contact Professor Leonie Callaway at firstname.lastname@example.org
“When you’re pregnant and giving birth, it’s one of the most vulnerable times in your life. Women with larger bodies are even more vulnerable, dealing with the stigma that goes along with that.”
Alliance Executive Team
Professor Leonie Callaway
Obstetric Physician and researcher; Chair, CRE HiPP Advisory Board; Executive Director, Metro North Hospital and Health Service District; Director of Research, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital; Co-Chair, Queensland Maternal and Perinatal Quality Council (QMPQC); Academic Title Holder - Professor, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland
Dr Briony Hill
Researcher in health psychology and public health; ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher (DECRA); CRE HiPP Research Fellow; Deputy Head, Health and Social Care Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University; Chair, Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum Early and Mid-career Researcher Collective
Associate Professor Lauren Kearney
Registered Midwife, Nurse and researcher; Inaugural Conjoint Associate Professor in Midwifery, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital and Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland; Discipline lead: Midwifery, University of Queensland; Expert Advisory Committee member, Queensland Clinical Guidelines; Associate Editor for Women and Birth
Dr Bec Jenkinson
Maternity consumer advocate and researcher; Research Fellow, School of Public Health, University of Queensland
Professor Helen Skouteris
Director of CRE HiPP; Monash Warwick Professor in Health and Social Care Improvement and Implementation Science; Head of Health and Social Care Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University; Editor-in-Chief for Health & Social Care in the Community
Sara Kingsley (consumer)
Malyssa Tomkinson (consumer)
Jessica Chippendale (consumer)
Ahlia Griffith (consumer)
Zena Mason (consumer)
Renee Tome (consumer)
Christie Bennett (researcher)
We have an exciting list of more Alliance members coming soon!