LONDON, November 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Report calls for nutrition guidance in pre-conception and pregnancy to be a public health priority
A report released today by The Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF) highlights the need for pre-conception and pregnancy to be seen as a critical 'window of opportunity' to improve the health of the next generation.
Backed by stakeholders in early life nutrition, including baby charity Tommy's, Borne and the Pre-school Learning Alliance, the report, 'Early Nutrition for Later Health: Time to Act Earlier', acknowledges the emerging evidence that a mother's weight and nutritional status before, during and between pregnancies can have a long lasting effect on the baby's health and the risk of disease later in life.
In fact how and what mothers eat could potentially affect the health of future generations. The reality, however, is that we are not doing enough to take advantage of this opportunity.
The report paints a picture of confusion and lack of advice for mums on nutrition and healthy lifestyles in pregnancy informed by a survey of 1,000 mothers and over 150 health care professionals:
- Just under half (46%) of mums said they made no changes to their diet after finding out they were pregnant
- 64 per cent of mums want more advice or support relating to their pregnancy. One in two are confused about the correct diet or supplementation for breastfeeding
- One in three healthcare professionals have had no training in nutrition in pregnancy, and 43% had no training in obesity in pregnancy
Gill Perks, Midwifery Matron, Antenatal and Postnatal Services, NHS, and ITF member, said:
"This report supports the Department of Health's mantra of 'making every contact count'. In pre-conception and pregnancy we must not miss this opportunity to advise and influence a woman's health, nutritional and dietary habits and midwives are in an ideal position to support women in this.
"The report calls for greater emphasis within primary care settings to guide all parents-to-be on nutrition and lifestyle. It also calls for action to increase the uptake of recommended vitamins and supplements during pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. It's not just about giving information it's about education."
For more information on the ITF visit: http://www.infantandtoddlerforum.org
SOURCE Infant and Toddler Forum (ITF)