Physical Evolution through Pregnancy (PEP) project

The Physical Evolution Through Exercise 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!

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 Exercise 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 Dee Holdsworth-Perks, 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.

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

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