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New evidence-based pregnancy resource for healthcare professionals

A new online resource, Ten Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy, aims to support healthcare professionals when advising mums-to-be 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”, and 64 per cent saying they would welcome more advice or support relating to their pregnancy.

Available online, this leaflet, poster and in-depth booklet* outline the Ten Steps that all women can incorporate day-to-day before and during pregnancy. The booklet provides the clinical evidence and rationale for each step, and is specifically for healthcare professionals working with women. All the material is supported by leading organisations, the National Obesity Forum, the Association for Nutrition and the Pre-school Alliance.

Dr Atul Singhal, Professor of Paediatric Nutrition at the UCL Institute of Child Health, and Chair 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. Unfortunately very often the only advice they receive is about what not to do, rather than how they can improve their diet 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.”

The Ten Steps for a Healthy Pregnancy leaflet and booklet can be downloaded from http://www.infantandtoddlerforum.org/pregnancy-and-infancy/healthy-lifestyle/ten-steps-healthy-pregnancy

The ITF is calling on healthcare professionals to join the conversation on Twitter. Follow @InfTodForum and support our #10StepsHealthyPregnancy.