The survey findings are revealed as a new booklet is launched to help midwives communicate key information to mothers.
The Start4Life campaign is behind the booklet and the research, the findings of which show midwives have fears about pregnant women’s lifestyles.
A total of 96% of midwives surveyed didn’t feel pregnant women understood the consequences of being obese or overweight during pregnancy.
The results also show 78% of midwives felt that the true consequences of smoking when pregnant weren’t recognised.
While 76% felt their pregnant women didn’t recognise the impact of not eating a healthy diet.
It is hoped the new booklet, called Healthy habits for baby and you
, will help midwives when it comes to communicating lifestyle risks to pregnant women.
Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said: ‘Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges we face, and this data shows that it’s an issue midwives see in the women they look after time and time again.
‘One way to tackle obesity is to reach out to pregnant women to help them live healthier lifestyles to give their babies the best possible start in life.
‘Midwives play an invaluable role in providing this personalised care and support.
‘These new materials from Start4Life simplify the information out there and provide clear advice on the importance of a healthy pregnancy.
‘The sheer volume of information available to pregnant women can lead mothers-to-be to ignore the best advice, and Start4Life will help them to take simple steps to stay healthy for themselves and their baby.’
The new Start4Life take-home booklets have been devised to bring together key information for mothers-to-be.
It is hoped they cut through confusing or overwhelming levels of information and give midwives a tool to help them to discuss these potentially sensitive subjects.
The new booklets are specifically designed to engage and contain space for mothers-to-be to enter personal details, including their midwife’s name and number, their baby’s first scan and questions for future appointments.
In addition, there are also healthy recipes and tips, myth busters and exercise suggestions.
The Start4Life campaign aims to help parents get their babies off to the best start in life.
The new booklet is available to order from the Department of Health Orderline