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Pregnancy and healthy weight

If you're thinking of having a baby, you may want to consider making some healthy lifestyle changes to improve your health before you get pregnant. Tommy's has plenty of information about getting ready for a healthy pregnancy. 


There are so many things to think about during pregnancy, and a pregnant woman's health and wellbeing is certainly an important factor. There can often be mixed messages about what is sensible to eat and how much, or what exercises are safe to do during pregnancy? This pages aims to clear up any myths around healthy lifestyle during pregnancy and signpost you to recommended websites all promoting the same messages.

  • Gestational diabetes is developed during some pregnancies. Women are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes if they have a BMI higher than 30kg/m²
  • Pre-eclampsia is a combination of raised blood pressure and the presence of protein in your urine. If left untreated it can be harmful to mother and baby
  • Increased risk of having a large baby which can cause complications during birth

NHS Choices has more information about the risks associated with weight during pregnancy.

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It is often confusing about how much weight we should gain during pregnancy. Recommended weight gain during pregnancy is dependent on the woman’s BMI at the start of the pregnancy. Tommy’s has plenty of useful information and guidance on weight gain during pregnancy. Whatever your BMI, you shouldn’t aim to lose weight during pregnancy; a healthy balanced diet and staying active are key to a healthy pregnancy. Making healthy lifestyle changes before pregnancy will support a healthier pregnancy. 

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Top tips for a healthy weight during pregnancy


Guidance on whether it is safe to drink alcohol in pregnancy

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Sign up to Start4Life for ongoing support throughout pregnancy and your child’s early years


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What an extra 200 calories in the last three months of pregnancy looks like


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Staying active in pregnancy and safe exercises for overweight women in pregnancy


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Looking after your own emotional wellbeing, and having your own wellbeing plan

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Understanding the truth of some well known pregnancy myths


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What support is there during pregnancy?


In Wiltshire, pregnant women with a BMI of 30kg/m² or more are offered support with weight management as part of their antenatal care. In some areas this will include access to a flexible weight management programme called Maternal Healthy Me which is delivered by maternity staff. The programme is offered through 1-1 or group based sessions, covering a range of healthy eating and lifestyle topics to support pregnant women to have a healthy pregnancy. Speak to your Midwife or local maternity unit for more information.

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Wiltshire IAPT Service offers a course for new mothers who are interested in learning about tools and techniques to manage stress.


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Healthy Start are free vouchers for pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of four, who are in receipt of benefits or pregnant and under 18. Vouchers are used to spend on healthy foods and vitamins to give your child the best start in life. Speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor for more information.


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Health Trainers can support you making healthy lifestyle changes, including support on healthy eating and physical activity as well as building confidence and motivation with clients.


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Start4Life is an online support page for information on healthy eating and physical activity during pregnancy and for your baby in their early years. Sign up for ongoing support and advice.


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Active Health offers physical activity opportunities to those referred by a medical professional, which is available to women during their pregnancy.


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Continuing with physical activity during pregnancy is beneficial. Contact your local Leisure Centre to find out about activity opportunities for you during your pregnancy. If you have any concerns about exercising during pregnancy, please consult your GP or Midwife.


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Last updated: 30 June 2017 | Last reviewed: 30 June 2017