Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry mothers-to-be offered weight advice

Health experts in Coventry are urging mothers-to-be to enrol for a special course aimed at giving advice on healthy eating and weight control.

One in five pregnant women in the city was overweight, according to Coventry's Primary Care Trust (PCT).

The PCT has estimated the cost of dealing with obesity will rise from £54m in 2012 to £63m in 2015.

Consultant obstetrician Professor Shiobhan Quenby said many people were unaware they had a problem.

Obese women are more likely to have complications in pregnancy or childbirth, such as miscarriage, birth defects, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and can result in short and long term health problems for the baby.

The measurement of a person's weight is commonly classified by Body Mass Index (BMI), and where BMI is in excess of 30kg/m2, an individual is considered to be obese.

'Course is under subscribed'

"The problem is that obesity is so common - a lot of people look the same as their neighbours and the other people attending the clinic - and so people don't realise they're obese," said Ms Quenby.

"Pregnancy is a really important time to be very careful about what you eat because it affects the birth, how long you're in labour, whether you have a caesarean section, and it has long-term implications for your child."

Coventry PCT said the new six-week course, called Just4Mums, has been designed to support women to safely manage their weight during pregnancy.

Esther Higdon, from NHS Coventry, said: "Just4Mums is under subscribed at the moment and many mothers-to-be are simply unaware of the service.

"It is all about helping mothers get the balance right between exercise and eating properly."

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