Currently around 1 in 5 women are living with obesity (having a BMI greater than 30kg/m2) and 1 in 4 are living with overweight (having a BMI ≥25 kg/m2) when they attend their 12 week booking appointment. Obesity during pregnancy can affect the health of mum and baby. We also know that women who are older, live in deprived areas, or are from a Black or Asian community are more likely to have obesity, so it is important that these women are supported, and the first step in providing weight management support is to have a conversation about the importance of being a healthy, or healthier, weight.
In 2018 PHE found that health care workers wanted help in having a conversation about the importance of healthy weight with adults and children. As a result they produced a toolkit to help health care workers discuss weight with families. This study examined how local areas can use this toolkit to help their healthcare workers (e.g. midwifes, health visitors and early years workers) start conversations about the importance of healthy weight before, during and after pregnancy.
This study helped two local areas (Manchester and North Yorkshire – which were selected because they are very different in terms of population diversity and rurality) to create and test a local tool to help the healthcare workers in their area have positive conversations about the importance of a healthier weight before, during and after pregnancy. We did this by running two workshops to understand what support local health care workers needed, and then working with the two local areas to develop tools to aid their conversations.
The final report, and infographic summarising the results of the work, can be downloaded from the right side of this page.