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Slimming World and Royal College of Midwives launch partnership

30th January 2012     

Slimming World and the Royal College of Midwives have joined forces in a unique partnership to support pregnant women and breastfeeding mums in managing their weight.

The partnership brings together the world-class midwifery and maternity expertise of the RCM and Slimming World, the UK’s leading weight management organisation, with 42 years’ experience of helping people to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The agreement sees Slimming World join the RCM’s Alliance Programme which aims to promote the work of the RCM to midwifery professionals, actively support midwifery and promote the interests of the RCM, midwives and mothers.

Obesity in pregnancy can lead to serious complications for a mother and her developing child. It is estimated that over a quarter of women in the UK aged over 16 are obese*. Slimming World champions healthy eating and sensible weight control in pregnancy and is the only national weight management organisation in the UK to provide specialist support to women before, during and after pregnancy.

With the consent and on-going recommendation of their midwife or GP, Slimming World actively works with women to address weight management issues. It makes a significant contribution in raising awareness about this issue in a real and practical way, helping women develop new healthy eating habits and moderate activity routines - through its weekly support groups - and in full support of the work of midwives. This partnership is a natural fit for Slimming World and the RCM, both of whom have the health and wellbeing of women and babies at their heart.

Caryl Richards, Slimming World’s managing director, says: “Slimming World is the only national weight management organisation in the UK which continues to provide support to members when they become pregnant. This is a time when women often feel vulnerable and unsure about the way to manage their weight; they need specialist support and we’re very proud of the positive contribution we make to the lives of so many women and their families.
“Many women who come to Slimming World tell us that their weight problems began in pregnancy, and that their weight increases with each successive pregnancy. We know it doesn’t have to be that way.  Our approach of a healthy balanced diet and moderate activity - backed up by group support - helps women to successfully manage their weight before, during and after one of the most exciting events in their lives.

“We don’t encourage weight loss or ‘dieting’ during pregnancy – instead we support women to adopt a balanced, healthy diet to prevent excess weight gain; we also help mums to manage their weight healthily following the birth of their child, while breast-feeding”. 

“Joining the RCM Alliance is a tremendous opportunity to ensure pregnant women get the right information and advice, during and after pregnancy and that midwives continue to be supported in the outstanding work they do.”

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “Nothing could be more vital than the work of the RCM and Slimming World to improve the health of women, and through this, their babies.  Their approach to weight management with pregnant women is sound, achieves positive results and helps to change the lives of many women.

“This partnership will mean that we can work together to raise awareness of the right kind of weight management in pregnancy, through Slimming World’s groups and through the work of midwives to improve the health of women and their babies.”

For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, pressofficer@rcm.org.uk  or Sarah Clothier in the Slimming World press office on 07740 202728 public.relations@slimming-world.com

Notes to editors

*Saving Mothers Lives report March 2011. See http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02847.x/pdf.

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.

The Royal College of Midwives Alliance Programme is an innovative venture launched in 2004, to promote and enhance the work of the College in its commitment to midwifery professionals. The Alliance aims to actively support midwifery and promote the interests of the RCM, midwives and mothers. Over the past four years, much activity to promote the Alliance Programme has surrounded a series of events, notably the RCM Annual Conference, International Day of the Midwife and the RCM Annual Midwifery Awards. For more information visit http://www.rcm.org.uk/college/rcm-alliance/.

About Slimming World

Slimming World is the only weight loss organisation that supports pregnant and breastfeeding women. Margaret Miles-Bramwell (OBE, FRSA) founded the company 43 years ago and there are now more than 8,000 groups held weekly nationwide via a network of more than 3,000 Slimming World Consultants who receive specific training in dietary aspects and the role of physical activity in weight control. The highly developed training focuses on facilitating behaviour change in a group environment, acknowledged by experts as being the most effective way to support long-term weight management.

Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, Food Optimising, and the principles behind Slimming World’s philosophy are based on a deep understanding of the challenges faced by overweight people. It integrates practical, up-to-date dietary advice with a highly developed support system. Slimming World pioneered referral schemes in the UK and actively supports the building of partnerships with the NHS and local authorities to develop effective strategies to manage overweight and obesity in the community. The company works with university researchers and specialists in an active research programme to further knowledge of the causes and treatment of obesity. For more information visit www.slimmingworld.com/health