Ms Jenny Cunningham

Research project: To better understand weight stigma as experienced by women with a raised body mass index (BMI ≥30m/kg²) and to find ways to reduce or eradicate this stigma in maternity services

Abstract

To better understand the experience of weight stigma as experienced by pregnant women with a raised body mass index (≥30m/kg²) and to find ways to reduce or eradicate weight stigma in maternity services.

The research objectives:

  • To undertake a meta-ethnography to examine the experiences and perceptions of weight stigma of women with a raised body mass index (BMI ≥30m/kg²) in maternity care
  • To use a qualitative methodology to investigate what women would like changed in maternity services to reduce or eradicate weight stigma.
  • To use Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR) which will involve the building of a research collective to advise and drive the project direction.
  • To bring forward solutions about how weight stigma can be reduced or eradicated in maternity services
  • To disseminate these findings together with the research collective
  • To develop post-doctoral work which will focus on how to implement solutions to reduce or eradicate weight stigma in maternity services.
  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: To better understand weight stigma as experienced by women with a raised body mass index (BMI ≥30m/kg²) and to find ways to reduce or eradicate this stigma in maternity services
  • Research supervisor: Dr Kirstie Coxon
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Melania Calestani

Biography

I qualified as a midwife in 2007 and have worked both clinically and in research. I  now work for the Royal College of Midwives as its Research Advisor. 

Areas of research interest

  • Pregnancy
  • Raised body mass index
  • Antenatal care
  • Midwives
  • Maternity services

Qualifications

  • MSc Woman's Health, Plymouth University
  • Dip HE Midwifery, Plymouth University
  • BA (Hons) Education and Environmental Science, Froebel College, Roehampton

Funding or awards received

  • Iolanthe Trust Midwives Award 2022
  • Kingston University studentship
  • Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation Trust - small grant scheme

Publications

 Cunningham, J, Goldsmith, L and Skirton, H (2014)  The evidence base regarding the experiences of and attitudes to preimplantation genetic diagnosis in prospective parents, in Midwifery 31, pp. 288-296 

Cunningham, J, Endacott, R, Gibbons, D  (2018) The experiences of pregnant women with a raised Body Mass Index (BMI) regarding their communication with midwives and other healthcare professionals, in British Journal of Midwifery 26, 9