ONE in three mums to be in Warwickshire are overweight or obese.
The shocking statistic has prompted health chiefs in the county to take action to tackle the growing problem with the launch of a new exercise scheme in a bid to get expectant mums in trim.
The Maternal Referral Scheme is being run by Warwickshire County Council, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation, and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust to support new mums to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle during their pregnancy.
They will receive encouragement and advice with on exercise, health and nutrition.
During a routine appointment with a midwife, weight gain will be discussed, and depending on Body Mass Index, the woman may be offered the opportunity to be part of the exercise referral scheme.
An exercise routine will then be worked out with a participating fitness instructor – all of who also have antenatal and postnatal qualifications – to help tailor a gym programme specific to a particular mum’s needs.
Council health spokesman Bob Stevens said: “This is clearly a sensitive subject, but with a third of new mums in Warwickshire, about 2,000 women, now overweight or obese it is something we need to address.
“Obesity is linked to many other health conditions and is something where a few simple steps can make huge improvements to a person’s wellbeing and lifestyle.”
Experts say all women should gain some weight when pregnant, especially at the end of pregnancy, but stressed every woman was different.
General advice is a woman should put on a maximum of between 10kg and 12.5kg (1 stone 8lb and 1 stone 13lb). Women who begin pregnancy at a healthy weight will gain this weight naturally, mainly in the last ten weeks of pregnancy, without ‘eating for two’.
For further details visit http://www.cswsport.org.uk/upload/public/get-active/maternity-referral/StratfordDistrict2.pdf (Stratford), or http://www.cswsport.org.uk/upload/public/get-active/maternity-referral/WarwickDistrict2.pdf (Warwick).