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Who We Are

ENRICH is a group of fifteen investigators, plus students and staff that came together under a research program funded for five years by Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions (AIHS). ENRICH studies are aimed at improving maternal health in pregnancy and postpartum by finding innovative ways to promote healthy weights and healthy eating.

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.

ENRICH is currently conducting twelve different studies, organized under four different themes. 

 

ENRICH Themes635890002483319320

 

Our Goal

The overall goal of ENRICH is to promote healthy weights through healthy eating among women during pregnancy and postpartum.

Our aim is to identify innovative strategies that meet the needs of diverse groups of women and care providers across Alberta. Results from our studies will advance the field of maternal health research and improve women's health.

Our general approach is to integrate past findings from research of our own and others; gather new data from women and care providers where needed; synthesize this data; and then pilot test, implement, and evaluate promising strategies.

In addition to our Alberta-based researchers, 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.

 

ENRICH Knowledge Diagram635890002972078385