This guideline covers how to assess and monitor body weight and how to prevent someone from becoming overweight or obese before, during and after pregnancy. The aim is help all women who have a baby to achieve and maintain a healthy weight by adopting a balanced diet and being physically active.

This guideline does not cover women who are underweight (that is, those who have a body mass index [BMI] less than 18.5 kg/m²) or food safety advice.

NICE has also produced guidelines on obesity and maternal and child nutrition.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • NHS and other commissioners and managers
  • Health professionals including those working in antenatal and postnatal services
  • People working in children’s centres
  • Women before, during and after pregnancy, their partners and families and other members of the public

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in March 2017 and it will be updated via the antenatal care guideline.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)