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.

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Further Reading

  • Atul Singhal, Professor of Paediatric Nutrition and Chair of the Infant & Toddler Forum   At the Infant & Toddler Forum (ITF), we are committed to giving every child the healthiest start in life. As an expert-led, not-for-profit organisation we have dedicated our work to early life nutrition, from pregnancy to pre-school, because we know that healthy eating habits established in childhood are more likely to last a lifetime.
  • Judy More, Paediatric Dietitian and Registered Nutritionist   As Christmas approaches it can be difficult to plan activities for toddlers! Between decorating, shopping and cooking it may be a challenge to find time to include fun active play with your little one. The Infant & Toddler Forum is here to help with our top tips for maintaining healthy, fun activities for your toddlers during the festive season!
  • Lucy Upton, Specialist Paediatric Dietitian and Nutritionist   Christmas is a joyful time of year, however as a parent it can also be busy and sometimes stressful. Between planning festive gatherings, shopping for the perfect gifts, and decorating your home, thinking about the perfectly portioned festive meal for your toddler can be an added challenge. The Infant & Toddler Forum is here to help you create an easy and delicious Christmas plate that will save you time but more importantly, that your toddler will enjoy!