Midwives’ experiences with and perspectives on online (Nutritional) counselling and mhealth applications for pregnant women: an explorative qualitative study

Renate F. Wit, Desiree A. Lucassen, Yvette H. Beulen, Janine P.M. Faessen, Marina Bos De Vos, Johanna M. van Dongen, Edith J.M. Feskens, Annemarie Wagemakers, Elske M. Brouwer-Brolsma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Prenatal nutrition is a key predictor of early-life development. However, despite mass campaigns to stimulate healthy nutrition during pregnancy, the diet of Dutch pregnant women is often suboptimal. Innovative technologies offer an opportunity to develop tailored tools, which resulted in the release of various apps on healthy nutrition during pregnancy. As midwives act as primary contact for Dutch pregnant women, the goal was to explore the experiences and perspectives of midwives on (1) nutritional counselling during pregnancy, and (2) nutritional mHealth apps to support midwifery care. Analyses of eleven in-depth interviews indicated that nutritional counselling involved the referral to websites, a brochure, and an app developed by the Dutch Nutrition Centre. Midwives were aware of the existence of other nutritional mHealth apps but felt uncertain about their trustworthiness. Nevertheless, midwives were open towards the implementation of new tools providing that these are trustworthy, accessible, user-friendly, personalised, scientifically sound, and contain easy-digestible information. Midwives stressed the need for guidelines for professionals on the implementation of new tools. Involving midwives early-on in the development of future nutritional mHealth apps may facilitate better alignment with the needs and preferences of end-users and professionals, and thus increase the likelihood of successful implementation in midwifery practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6733
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Early online date23 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The research described in this paper was financially supported by a grant from the Regiodeal Foodvalley (162135) and by the 4 Dutch Technical Universities, 4TU—Pride and Prejudice program (4TU-UIT-346).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Apps
  • Health
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Maternal
  • MHealth gestation
  • Midwives
  • Nutrition


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