Take part in new research on nutrition and diet in pregnancy

March 18, 2021

It can be helpful for mums-to-be and those planning a pregnancy to learn about different food groups and identify any gaps in their diet. For example, they may be consuming fewer food groups providing essential nutrients such as Iron and Calcium. However, during routine antenatal visits, a conversation about diet and lifestyle must happen to identify any gaps and address them appropriately through counselling, supplementation, or referral to a dietician. 

Research has shown that diet before and during pregnancy is not only important for the growth and development of the baby but also helps avoid problems for the mother’s health such as diabetes during pregnancy. There are several resources available online, for example, the NHS website provides information on what foods are safe or unsafe to eat during pregnancy. However, studies have shown that when it comes to discussions on appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, or diet and exercise during pregnancy, women sometimes feel that they did not receive adequate support from their healthcare provider. Some women have also felt uncomfortable while discussing weight-related issues.

Some hurdles that cause these problems are the short duration of consultations other pressing issues such as discussing the scans or other risks that need to be discussed during their visit and the lack of appropriate training for the healthcare providers.

The International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FIGO) developed a nutrition checklist that women can complete in a waiting room before their consultations. Women who are pregnant/ planning a pregnancy can then take it with them to meet their healthcare provider (doctors/ midwife). The checklist is designed to help women have a structured discussion on diet based on their response to the questions on the checklist. It also acts as a reminder to discuss the important topic of nutrition. Now, we would like to hear from women to learn if such a checklist would be acceptable for use before and during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant, or have had a baby in the last two years, or are planning a pregnancy, you are invited to participate in a short anonymous survey regarding your experiences while discussing your diet and nutrition with a healthcare provider and to hear your thought on the nutrition checklist discussed above (this will be presented to you once you begin the survey).

Your response will be very helpful in developing a tool to support women across the UK before, during and after pregnancy!

You can find more information on the Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/UKFIGOcheckliststudy