Study Findings

Due to priceless participation of our study participants, the APrON study has been able to make momentous discoveries across many areas including recruitment strategies for studies and improvement of human health and quality of life:

  • The most effective way to find potential participants for APrON was through face-to-face contact in clinics that see a large volume of women in early pregnancy.
  • Most APrON women gained more weight than is recommended. This is a very important finding because it tells us that most women may benefit from information and programs that support them in gaining within the healthy weight gain recommendations.
  • There is some evidence to support two types of prenatal supplements having some benefit for children (omega 3s, and multi-nutrients), but very little evidence for individual nutrients.
  • Health practitioners may focus their support for the lower-educated, first time mothers as exclusive breastfeeding is less likely to take place in this group.
  • Pregnant women who receive low levels of social support release more stress hormone (cortisol) after an episode of negative mood as compared to women who received more social support. This is an important finding because it suggests that social support may protect developing babies from the harmful effects of increases in stress hormone (cortisol) that are related to bad mood.
  • APrON findings do not support the claim that a pregnant woman’s body becomes less responsive to stress as her pregnancy progresses. We therefore provide new evidence suggesting that stressful experiences during any period of pregnancy have the potential to affect fetal development.
  • Awareness and understanding of probiotics is high among mothers in Alberta. However, there is still uncertainty regarding the benefit and safety of probiotics in infants.
  • Women who took a supplement containing DHA were 10.6 and 11.1 times more likely to meet the current EU consensus for pregnancy and postpartum respectively.
  • It is recommended that nutritional counselling about the benefits of a supplement should extend beyond pregnancy.