Slimmer Zwanger has been expanded to further improve the quality of healthcare through extra coaching modules for good and safe use of medication, for the follow-up of treatment and appointments, and for exercise coaching. It is partly due to this that the program, as one of the few e-Health applications, has received the highest CE Class 1 certificate for use in healthcare. Furthermore, the new version of Slimmer Zwanger provides all users with three seasonal recipes weekly and vitamin D advice.
Unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits of expectant parents contribute to a reduced chance of becoming pregnant, an increased risk of birth defects and growth disorders in children and more problems related to childbirth. Unhealthy habits are not easy to change. Erasmus MC wants to make a positive contribution to this through Slimmer Zwanger (www.slimmerzwanger.nl), thereby improving the quality of care. The screening tests of the coaching program and the program’s self-test can also be used by midwives, gynecologists, general practitioners and other care providers to identify points for improvement in diet and lifestyle habits of patients quickly and easily and to monitor behavior changes over time.
The program is an initiative of Prof. Régine Steegers-Theunissen, physician-epidemiologist at the Obstetrics and Gynecology department of Erasmus MC. Steegers: “There is certainly a need for Slimmer Zwanger, as there is almost nothing as difficult as changing unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits. Slimmer Zwanger will not replace personal visits to physicians or midwives. However, it has already proven to be a valuable tool for people who may not live a particularly healthy life, but wish to do something about it, and for care providers to improve the quality of care.”
Participants can screen themselves via the website on their mobile phone or computer where details such as age, body mass index and various dietary and lifestyle risk factors are checked. Depending on the risk factors present, an individual coaching program is determined by way of a computer program and this program will periodically send text messages or e-mails by mobile phone with tips, facts and recipes. Steegers: “After the initial screening, four more screenings will take place every six weeks. The coaching program is adapted depending on whether someone is pregnant so that coaching remains tailor-made.”
Slimmer Zwanger is intended for all women and men wanting to have children. Achmea reimburses the costs for participating in Slimmer Zwanger for those insured by Achmea as well as those insured by other healthcare insurance companies. See www.slimmerzwanger.nl.