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A Critical 9 Months: WebMD Pregnancy Health Coach Shares Insights

Pregnancy coaching is one of the most fun and rewarding topics to coach our participants on during our monthly sessions. Whether it’s a first child or a sixth child, every pregnancy is unique. Our role as coaches is to provide helpful exercise and nutrition information to mothers to help them have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

This year, I have been able to follow and coach a participant from her 12th week of pregnancy all the way to birth. This was her second child, more than 15 years after her first, and I wanted to make sure it was a healthy experience. We spoke monthly, talking about exercises like yoga and walking, even if activity was broken down to 10 minute increments to battle fatigue later in pregnancy. We also discussed ways to manage appropriate weight gain based on her pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), such as limiting salt intake, incorporating more fruits and vegetables into her daily diet, and increasing water consumption. This client developed gestational diabetes, so I was able to tailor our coaching sessions to focus more on nutritional changes and suggestions to help keep her and the baby healthy.

My participant gave birth at the beginning of this year and has a healthy baby. She is also ready to focus on weight loss again and resume her journey to getting back to a healthy weight.

The importance of pregnancy support

For an average employer with 20,000 employees:

  • 560 registered users are pregnant
  • 83 may have preterm or low birth weight baby

For each pre-term or low birth weight birth we avoid, the organization can save approximately $50,000 in medical costs. [1. Thomson Reuters, The Cost of Prematurity and Complicated Deliveries to U.S. Employers, 2008]

Pregnancy coaching and pregnancy-management tools

As a coach, it’s fun to speak with my participants throughout their pregnancy, hearing about the growth of their baby, what names they have chosen, what kind of birth plan they might have, and answering questions. Pregnancy is a personal experience for every woman, so I want to make sure that any information I give is to fit their lifestyle and plan for their pregnancy. My job is to give them the tools and information to make their pregnancy a healthy and happy one.

Luckily, we have a few great tools that make information available to participants around the clock and in between coaching sessions.

  • Pregnancy Coaches—Participants are welcome to call into the WebMD coaching center to speak with a coach at any time, to answer any questions regarding general pregnancy topics, nutrition and/or exercise.
  • WebMD Pregnancy App—This is a brand new tool available to anyone with an iPhone – features include health articles, changes in the baby week to week, appointment reminders, and symptom trackers.
  • WebMD Baby App—This additional tool is for new moms to monitor feedings and changings, keep track of doctor’s appointments, and find parenting tips—there’s also a section just for dads.

Overall, our pregnancy specialty has been a wonderful addition to the whole-person coaching experience, not only to those we coach, but to us as coaches. It is truly a joy to be able to coach our participants throughout their pregnancy, provide information and recommendations specific to every woman, and know that I was able to aid in bringing another healthy baby into this world with a healthy mother.

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