As evidence builds on the risk for babies of overweight mothers, a new simple guide sheds light on the right advice to follow
A new online resource, Ten Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy, aims to help mums-to-be to use pregnancy as a window of opportunity to build good habits for health, growth and development for both mum and baby. The resource by the Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF) brings together and simplifies the most up to date, evidence-based information in pregnancy nutrition and wellbeing.
The current reality in the UK is that nearly 50 per cent of pregnant women attending their first maternity appointment are overweight (19%) or obese (26%) 1. We also know that there is a lot of information accessible to women, but the advice is often unhelpful or conflicting. A recent ITF poll revealed just how little understanding mums-to-be have, with almost half (41 per cent) of respondents thinking that it’s OK to “eat for two”. One-third (30 per cent) of respondents said they did not receive enough information to help them make good decisions about their diet when expecting.
Available online, the resource outlines the Ten Steps that all women can incorporate into their day-to-day, before and during pregnancy. A more in-depth booklet is available for healthcare professionals working with women, providing the evidence and rationale for each step. The material is supported by leading organisations, the National Obesity Forum, the Association for Nutrition and the Pre-school Alliance.
Gill Perks, Lead Midwife at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital and a member of the ITF says, “Pregnancy is a perfect window of opportunity for women to reassess and improve what and how much they eat and their level of exercise. Not infrequently, advice is more focused on what women should not eat, instead of what they could do to get healthier.
“Better nutrition guidance in pregnancy should be considered a public health priority. The Ten Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy offer a practical guide for mothers-to-be to manage their weight whilst eating well to sustain a healthy pregnancy, and dispel common pregnancy myths and misconceptions.”
Try out the Ten Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy by downloading the leaflet from http://www.infantandtoddlerforum.org/pregnancy-and-infancy/healthy-lifestyle/ten-steps-healthy-pregnancy
The ITF is calling on families to join the conversation on Twitter. Follow @InfTodForum and support our #10StepsHealthyPregnancy.