Review decision: 

This guidance will not be updated, the guidance remains current.

Next review: 2017

This guidance is for NHS and other commissioners, managers and professionals who have a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for:

  • women who are pregnant or who are planning a pregnancy
  • mothers who have had a baby in the last 2 years.

It is particularly aimed at: GPs, obstetricians, midwives, health visitors, dietitians, community pharmacists and all those working in antenatal and postnatal services and children’s centres.

It may also be of interest to women before, during and after pregnancy, their partners and families, and other members of the public.

In this guidance the term ‘weight management’ involves:

  • assessing and monitoring body weight
  • preventing someone from becoming overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25–29.9 kg/m²) or obese (BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m²)
  • helping someone to achieve and maintain a healthy weight by eating healthily and being physically active.

The six recommendations are based on approaches that have been proven to be effective for the whole population. They include advice on:

  • How to help women with a BMI of 30 or more to lose weight before and after pregnancy – and how to help them eat healthily and keep physically active during pregnancy.
  • How to help all pregnant women eat healthily and keep physically active.
  • The role of community-based services.
  • The professional skills needed to achieve the above.

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.

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