More than half of East Midlands women are classed as overweight or obese, which is affecting the health of their babies.

Mums-to-be can start using their pregnancy as a window of opportunity to build good habits for health, growth and development for themselves and the baby.

The Infant and Toddler Forum has published a new online resource, which expels the common myths surrounding pregnancy and simplifies the most up to date evidence-based information in nutrition and wellbeing for pregnant women.

The material is supported by the National Obesity Forum, the Association for Nutrition and the Pre-school Learning Alliance.

Most information you receive when you are pregnant lists all the thing you shouldn’t be doing. The Ten Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy guide avoids this by advising you instead on what foods you should eat, how to keep physically active and offers support for women struggling to quit smoking and drinking, as well as those who suffer from substance abuse.

Angela has just passed the first trimester of her pregnancy and has been following the guide for 4 months.

 

Nearly 50% of mother’s in the East Midlands were classes as overweight or obese in their first maternity appointment.

68% of expecting mother weren’t given advice from their GP or midwife before, during or after pregnancy.

27% said they had weight concerns throughout their pregnancy.

3 in 10 mums did not receive enough dietary information during their pregnancy, so were unable to make informed decisions about dietary supplements such as calcium and iron.

46% of mums-to-be made no changes to their diet during pregnancy.

Leading midwife Gill Perks is a member of the Infant and Toddler Forum.

Gill Perks, leading Midwife
Gill Perks, leading Midwife

Better nutrition guidance in pregnancy should be considered a public health priority

She continued to say “Pregnancy is a perfect window of opportunity for women to reassess and improve what and how much they eat and their level of exercise.”

Statistics show that a higher proportion of obese women have miscarriages, still birth and neonatal death.

They are also more likely to suffer complications during their pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, blood clots pre-eclampsia and a more complicated labour, often resulting in caesarean births rather than natural birth.

The Infant and Toddler Forum is calling out for families to join the conversation on their Twitter @InfTodForum to support the #10StepsHealthyPregnancy