Midwives have stepped in to provide reassuring and sensible advice to pregnant women, following widespread reports in the media wrongly implying that it is fine to diet during pregnancy.

This inaccurate and potentially dangerous advice arose following a weight management in pregnancy study, published last week in the BMJ.

Dr Janine Stockdale, research fellow at the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Good nutrition before and during pregnancy is hugely important to help ensure good health for the mother and her baby. This can also have benefits well beyond the pregnancy itself.

"We should be careful to note that the researchers are not advising women to lose weight during pregnancy; this is about managing excessive weight or weight gain. If a woman is on target to gain the right amount of weight during her pregnancy, then 'dieting' and 'calorie controlled dieting' as we commonly understand these terms, is not for her.

"We need to reassure women that under the care of a midwife or other health professional, weight management is safe and offers benefits to mother and baby, such as a reduced risk of pregnancy-related diabetes and pre-term birth."

Posted 21/05/2012 by penny.hosie@pavpub.com