Nearly half of all women who give birth at Bedford Hospital are overweight - but help it at hand to help mums-to-be stay healthy.
Kick Start, which takes place at Pilgrims Pre-Preparatory School in Bedford from October 3, is a free Thursday night group to help pregnant ladies stay healthy.
Women who have a BMI of more than 30kg/m2 are referred to the scheme via midwives and GPs, and are supported by exercise specialists and dieticians.
Dietician Rose Butler said: “When the ladies start to make the changes in their eating habits this makes who families change. The sessions are having an impact on the wider community too.
“Babies born to obese or overweight mothers are more likely to have health problems themselves later in life - these sessions are about giving the women more awareness of what goes into their bodies.”
She added: “At the sessions I use visual aids too, like taking an a three litre bottle of oil.
“If you eat six packets of crisps every week for a year this is how much oil you have had.”
The Kick Start team believes that most women of child bearing age who are considering starting a family are not aware of the risks to being overweight during pregnancy.
They are also keen to debunk the myth that it is safe to ‘eat for two’ while you are pregnant.
One lady, who attended a Kick Start course said: “I have learned that my portion sizes were too big and that I can be in control of what I eat.
“It was nice not to be ‘told’ what to do, but instead be given ideas, guidance and advice.
“Lower calorie food can taste just as nice and be just as filling.”
Pregnancy is a time when women may gain too much weight. Being overweight during pregnancy can cause a higher risk of miscarriage, pregnancy diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and more deliveries require caesarean section.
And Kick Start has seen some great results.
Many women have said that they are more likely to plan their meals before shopping, had increased their activity levels, and were eating healthier food.
For more information about the scheme speak to your GP or midwife who can refer you as a candidate.
Many women have limited their weight gain, had a healthy baby and have a healthier family-centred future ahead of them .