The Gravida Healthy Start Workforce Project







The Gravida Healthy Start Workforce Project

Recent policy, public health and community interest in a healthy start to life means there is increasing momentum towards including healthy lifestyle advice for pregnancy and families in all health professionals’ roles.

Gravida is working on a new initiative, funded by the Ministry of Health, to offer two new professional development programmes for maternity and child health professionals in in 2015 that offer support and knowledge in this area.

Our focus is on strengthening awareness amongst these workforces of the important influence of nutrition and physical activity on a mother’s health and her infant’s development prior, during and after pregnancy – in particular in terms of affecting their risk of later-in-life non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and some cancers.

The first programme, the Healthy Start Education Programme, translates and explores the clinical and scientific evidence about why this period matters so much to life-long health.

The second, Healthy Conversation Skills (HCS) training, is a training programme in skills that support behaviour change - showing how to successfully support women and families to make healthy choices.

Taken separately or as complementary elective education options, both programmes aim to support maternity and child health professionals with additional tools they can use in their daily contact with women and families.

Through their special, trusted relationship with pregnant women and families, maternal and child health professionals can contribute to great health improvements.

In the coming months, Gravida will also launch a membership-only website featuring these programmes, news, peer discussion and new research reviews.

Register your interest in a programme, sign up to our newsletter and/or join our website community here.

Gravida is committed to translation of its research into practice and is thankful to have partnered with the NZ College of Midwives, Plunket, the Heart Foundation and Tipu Ora to develop these programmes.

Find out more about our ethics approval and evaluation process here.

Contact our project team:

Gravida's Healthy Start Workforce Project is run by a dedicated project team. Click here to see our team and contact details.


Alternatively you can contact us via email on

Our Partners

agresearch Landcorp Massey University University of Otago University of Caterbury The University of Auckland