This community later received Generator Funding for the project: Moving Through Motherhood

Project period: February – June 2019 

GW4 community leads 
University of Bath: Peter Rouse 
University of Bristol: Charlie Foster 
Cardiff University: Lucie Warren 
University of Exeter: Richard Pulsford (PI), Victoria Salmon, Lauren Rogers 

Project overview 

The GW4 Moving Through Motherhood Community comprises researchers from different disciplines with a shared interest in supporting physical activity during pregnancy by establishing a regional multidiscipline and multisector network to steer research and resource development. 


Pregnancy is a unique life stage where lifestyle behaviours including how physically active expectant mothers are can significantly impact the health of mother and baby. However, physical activity (PA) amongst expectant mothers is disproportionately low; fewer than 11% are sufficiently active.   

Findings from Phase 1 of the GW4 seed-funded Moving Through Motherhood (MTM) project suggest that 1) diverse experiences of pregnancy make PA challenging, 2) expectant mothers experience stigma and judgement when trying to be physically active, and 3) there is an absence of clear accessible guidance regarding PA during pregnancy, and 4) that these issues are very evident in the South West region. The recent UK National Maternity review envisions effective healthcare support during pregnancy based on individual needs and circumstances, while WHO recognises addressing health inequalities and rising physical inactivity as global health priorities. These significant complex public health challenges can only be addressed through multidisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration. 

Project summary 

The Community established a regional network of researchers, healthcare professionals, policy makers and public engagement groups which (to our knowledge) is unique in the UK. It brings together distinct expertise in research, clinical practice, health policy and provision, and the experiences of geographically/demographically diverse publics that are not present in any single institution or regional area, to provide a sustainable platform for collaboration, innovative interdisciplinary research and impact. The community held regional PPI networking events, a regional stakeholder event and a community workshop, the findings from all of which are feeding into academic publications, conference contributions and future grant applications. 

Community site (GW4 Portal)