Guidelines for GPs and health workers have been released today to encourage better care and advice for mums struggling with their weight. The guidelines are from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The risks for obese and overweight mums-to-be and their babies during pregnancy are higher than for mums of a healthy weight. Complications such as gestational diabetes, premature birth and low birth weight are all more common for heavier women.
To lower the risks, NICE recommends doctors give more information and help to encourage mums-to-be to lose weight before trying for a baby and for mums to get back to a healthy weight before trying for a second child.
However, the guidelines were also clear that crash dieting and trying to lose weight during pregnancy were not safe. Weight should be lost steadily and gradually after giving birth.
“There is much conflicting information, particularly in the media, about what constitutes a healthy weight for a women during and after pregnancy,” said Professor Steve Field, from the Royal College of GPs. “I welcome any guidance that can offer prospective and new mothers direction and clarity,” he added.
NICE also warned women not to be influenced by the speed some celebrity mums lose their baby weight. Mums like Coleen Rooney, who has been snapped recently looking toned on the beach, give real mums an unrealistic goal. When asked about how she lost her baby weight, Coleen said, “the weight just fell off.” If only we were all so lucky!
Get back into exercise gently after giving birth and don’t crash diet. You need to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet to help you return to your pre-baby weight while giving you enough energy to run around after your little one!