Physical Evolution through Pregnancy (PEP) project

The Physical Evolution Through Pregnancy Project aims to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and their babies by monitoring changes in body shape and size, walking gait and balance throughout pregnancy and in the six months after the birth.

Welcome to potential participants

He pōwhiri tēnei ki ō tātou mareikura, ō tātou whāea, kia tautoko mai i tēnei kaupapa nā Te Kukunetanga: Te Kunenga ā-Tinana o te Hapūtanga

Ki te hiahia koe ki te mōhio he aha ngā pānga o ngā huringa tinana ā-hapū ki tō āhei ki te hīkoi me te tauritenga o tō tinana, ā tēnā, kuhu mai, āwhina mai i tēnei rangahau!

क्या आप यह जानने को उत्सुक हैं कि गर्भावस्था के दौरान और उसके बाद हुए बदलावों से आपकी चाल औरशारीरिक संतुलन अस्थिर कैसे हो जाता है?

इस अध्ययन मे सम्मिलित होने के लिए आप सादर आमंत्रित हैं ।

Media releases

Participants and researchers can download the media release in their preferred language:

Prize draw for Physical Evolution through Pregnancy study

Ten $169 Bella Mama massage vouchers to be won.

To enter, book in for a Physical Evolution through Pregnancy (PEP) data collection session by 23:59 on 31 of August 2022 for the prize draw on 1 of September 2022. Bookings for dates after 1 September 2022 will still be eligible for entry in the prize draw.

  • Participation in the research is based on voluntary informed consent.
  • Entry is open to all individuals who meet the inclusion criteria outlined in the Participant Information Sheet
  • Entry into the prize draw is automatic for those who have visited AUT Millennium for a data collection, or are booked in for a data collection session and will be restricted to one entry only.
  • The winners will be selected at random from the list of participants by the deadline (23:59 NZT on 31.08.22).
  • The prize draw is organised and administered by the Te Kukunetanga study team at the Auckland University of Technology in partnership with Bella Mama and will take place shortly after the prize-draw closes.
  • We reserve the right to amend the date of the prize draw accordingly.
  • Participants can withdraw their participation from the study without losing their entry into the prize draw.
  • No cash alternatives will be available. We reserve the right to offer an alternative gift of similar specification and value should this be necessary.
  • The winners will be notified by email within 2 weeks of the draw.
  • If a winner is not able to confirm acceptance of the prize within 10 working days of being contacted by email, an alternative winner will be selected and notified by email once the confirmation time period of five working days has passed.
  • Identifiable information will only be displayed with the consent of the prize winners.

Participant recruitment

We are currently recruiting wahine who are pregnant, have recently given birth, or are hoping to soon be pregnant for the Physical Evolution Through Pregnancy Project at AUT Millennium (Antares Place, Albany, Auckland). You can express your interest to participate in our online form.

Download the participant information sheet

Expression of interest

Alternatively, you contact Cami Gascon Beski, email PEP@aut.ac.nz or call 021 0511 579

What participants should expect

During the project

You receive monthly health checks (heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, body mass) and see how your body shape changes over pregnancy.

You also receive personal reports of how your body is changing to support the growth of your baby with an opportunity to connect with health professionals between your scheduled appointments.

A number of participant-only wellbeing seminars will be offered with a variety of experts from various fields such as nutrition, exercise and physical activity.

There will be opportunities for personalised exercise plans to meet your needs and those of your whanau.

Many women have a fall during pregnancy because of a loss of balance. Learning more about how your body changes during pregnancy will give you more confidence in how you move and help you in your balance.

After your data collection sessions

You receive a figurine of your pregnant body shape from your whole-body image assessment.

At the end of the project

After the project there will be the ability to predict changes in body shape, size and vital signs to allow future wahine to have appropriate information and education when required throughout their pregnancy.

Your participation will help us build our understanding of changes women undergo during and post-pregnancy. We hope this will lead to advanced health care outcomes, both physical and mental.

In New Zealand there is a trend of over half of women having a baby via an instrumental birth or a caesarean section. We hope to find ways to change this trend so more women can have a vaginal birth. By participating in this study, you can help us find out how a woman’s body changes in shape and size affect walking, balance and emotion that may contribute to the birth outcome.

One study that you can choose to be part of includes free birth preparation workshops based on movement therapy. These workshops aim to help prepare you physically and emotionally for your labour and birth.

PEP project

Contact us

Dee Holdsworth-Perks
Te Kukunetanga Research Programme Coordinator
dee.holdsworth.perks@aut.ac.nz
021 0511 579

Our team

This research programme has been co-created with iwi, interdisciplinary researchers and people from various backgrounds and ethnicities.

Meet the team

Virtual walk-through

View our 3D room walk-though and protocol video for participants for the Te Kukunetanga: Physical Evolution Through Pregnancy Project.

Tour the rooms