Commenting on research published in the US journal Obstetrics & Gynecology on weight loss, obesity and pregnancy outcomes, Sue Macdonald, Education and Research Manager at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is interesting and potentially valuable research, which adds to the evidence supporting the advice and information that needs to be given to women who are considering becoming pregnant, and who are pregnant.
“There is a public health message that needs to be conveyed to women of the potential impact of being overweight when pregnant; Women with a BMI of 30 or more fall in that risk group; this is why it is important to lose the weight/reduce their BMI before becoming pregnant. Women who become pregnant are usually highly motivated to be as healthy as possible for their babies, and this is an ideal time to provide the information and support required. This includes healthy eating and regular exercises/physical activities. The recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), guidance was useful in promoting the message about healthy eating and encouraging mothers to eat healthily or engage in exercise.
“We need to dispel the eating for two myth; but it is important to avoid being judgemental about weight management, and ensure that women are given clear information, advice and support. The midwife is in an ideal position to work with women to provide tailored and individualised advice regarding healthy eating and taking regular exercises to improve health and wellbeing in pregnancy, labour and post birth.”
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Notes to editors
The Royal College of Midwives is the voice of midwifery. We are the UK’s only trade union and professional organisation led by midwives for midwives. The vast majority of the midwifery profession are our members. The RCM promotes midwifery, quality maternity services and professional standards. We support and represent our members individually and collectively in all four UK countries. We influence on behalf of our members and for the interests of the women and families for which they care. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.