Helping women stay healthy
For many years, my colleagues and I have been reminding mums-to-be that weight really does matter in pregnancy. In West Suffolk, we're strengthening that message further by offering tailored support to those women who really need it through an innovative class which brings together antenatal care, exercise and dietary advice.
The group, called Monday Mums, was developed by West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust midwives Jenny Gray and Jeanette Burt, alongside team lead Karen Newbury. The aim was to tackle the risks associated with obesity in pregnancy and childbirth (Modder and Fitzsimons, 2010). Delivered in partnership with leisure services provider Abbeycroft, it gave midwives the chance to discuss healthy eating and physical activity with women, while also addressing any individual issues they may face.
The programme's 6-week trial proved so successful that Karen and I decided to further develop it to encourage more women to attend throughout pregnancy. Our aim was to create a convenient ‘one-stop shop’ where all of the expectant mothers' needs could be met, while providing them with the right support to make healthy choices during pregnancy. To do this, we offer a one-to-one consultation with me, as well as the chance to take part in 30 minutes of safe exercise led by Abbeycroft fitness instructor, Helen Bye.
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