A Healthy Pregnancy in Ten Steps

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.

Further Reading

  • The Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) welcomes the government’s announcement today to reduce sugar content in food and drink by 20%, and to introduce a sugar levy.

    Judy More, paediatric dietitian and ITF member, said: “Sugary food and drinks can have a detrimental effect on children’s health. When eaten too frequently they cause tooth decay and add excess calories increasing the likelihood of overweight and obesity.  Young children naturally like sweet food and drinks but it is a parent’s responsibility to offer children a balanced diet with a limit on sugary food and drinks. Reducing sugar intake by cutting out sugary drinks is an easy way to do this. We welcome any development that supports parents to better manage sugar consumption in their young children’s diets, makes them aware of the importance of doing so, and helps them put this into action. Continue reading

  • Whilst, recent research questions the use of multivitamin supplementation during pregnancy, the Infant & Toddler Forum maintain that the most important advice to give mothers-to-be is to take a daily supplement of 10µg vitamin D throughout pregnancy and 400µg folic acid up until at least the 12th week of pregnancy. Continue reading

    • One in ten parents regularly give pre-school children meals close to the size of adult portions*
    • Parents are unaware of the health consequences of feeding too much too often
    • #rethinktoddlerportionsizes new campaign sheds light on how much is too much. It’s time to rethink our notion of how much food toddlers need

    Continue reading