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

  • Vegetarian and vegan diets have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with more and more parents raising their children on a plant-based diet. Toddlers have high-energy needs and small stomachs, so it is important parents know how to ensure their child gets all the nutrients needed for healthy growth and development. The Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help with practical tips and advice for parents considering a vegetarian or vegan diet for their toddler.
  • Encouraging toddlers to keep physically active will help them to develop movement skills, stay a healthy weight and keep a healthy heart. No matter the weather, we have fun activities which will keep your toddler active and entertained this Easter!
  • Pregnant women are given lots of advice surrounding healthy eating and lifestyle, but this is often based on old or outdated information. There are so many myths and misconceptions floating around that it can be difficult for mums-to-be to tell fact from fiction. Here are our tips and guidance, so you can feel confident about having a healthy pregnancy.